Last year's Melbourne Cup
winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy has forsaken the Moroney stable which provided him with the 2000 winner Brew
in favour of riding Rain Gauge
for three times Cup winning trainer George Hanlon.
McEvoy was offered the mount after Rain Gauge won the Grosby Gold Cup (2500 metres, Group 2) at Moonee Valley last Saturday.
Greg Childs rode Rain Gauge at Moonee Valley but would struggle to make the weight of 109 lbs in the Melbourne Cup and connections were not prepared to have the horse carry any overweight.
McEvoy, who turned 21 last Wednesday, is a natural lightweight who was arguably unlucky not to have won last Saturday's Group 1 Cox Plate at Moonee Valley aboard Viscount.
The young jockey had been expected to partner the Mike Moroney trained The Secondmortgage but that horse is not guaranteed a place in the field.
'It was a really tough decision. I didn't want to leave Mike (Moroney) in the lurch. His stable's been so good to me but with a doubt over The Secondmortgage getting a start I felt I had no choice but to accept the offer on Rain Gauge,' McEvoy said.
In other Cup news, the great trainer Bart Cummings - who has prepared 11 Melbourne Cup winners - is in danger of not having a runner for the second year in a row.
Cummings will have six runners in the Saab Quality at Flemington. They are Crown Mahal, Matriculate, Philidor, Indian Ridge, Dame Cath and Ringleader who must win or run second to be assured of a Cup start.
Cummings also has the favourite for this Saturday's Victoria Derby in Ustinov and the winner of that race has the right to be included in the Cup field. However, Cummings says the Cup is too tough for three-year-olds and he has no intention of starting Ustinov in the Melbourne Cup even if he wins the Derby easily.