The Sportsman Weekend

Viridine’s set to fire

McEvoy to start the new season with a bang

- SHAYNE O’CASS

The only time Kerrin McEvoy rode Viridine in a race, he beat Nature Strip home.

That was at start nine for the Godolphin sprinter in Adelaide in May 2018 when they finished a diminishin­g neck third in the Group 2 Euclase.

Fast forward to Saturday and McEvoy is pleased to reunite with Viridine at start number 40 in the first stakes-race of 2021/2, namely the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1100m) at Royal Randwick.

“I have only had the one ride on him but I have ridden a few times in trials, so I have obviously seen a lot of him. I know more about him than he knows me,” McEvoy said.

Viridine probably isn’t in contention to represent Godolphin in this year’s Everest, but his longevity and desire over numerous seasons makes him a much-admired horse among the luminaries at Agnes Banks.

The son Poet’s Voice who turned seven last Sunday, has won over $1.2 million, with feature wins in the Group 2 Roman Consul as well as the Group 3 Bletchingl­y Stakes.

His ‘peak’ performanc­e was his third placing in The Galaxy in March of 2018 when behind In Her Time and English.

“He is a solid Group performer at these sprint trips and hasn’t been beaten far in some quality races,” said McEvoy.

“He is coming off a couple of nice runs in recent times down Melbourne and getting back on top of the deck is a plus because he has got nice record on good ground.

“He is fit and ready and ready to go. A few of these are first-up so he has got fitness on his side and his record says that must have a great chance in this race on Saturday.”

McEvoy will don the colours of his dual Everest winner Redzel when Snowden/Triple Crown colt Mazu takes his place in the all-important Listed Rosebud (1100m).

A $180,000 Inglis Classic Yearling purchase, Mazu is a son of Japanese champion Maurice and a halfbrothe­r to Golden Slipper runner-up, Headway.

Mazu made a quantum leap in his only two starts at first prep, winning

Canterbury before a neck third in the Group 3 Pago Pago Stakes.

Mazu has been impressive in both trials, winning his July 9 heat before a close second 19days later with McEvoy in the saddle.

“He has come back in nice order; his trials have shown that. It is a great line with some quality new season three-yearolds to contend with but he goes in there a nice chance,” McEvoy said.

“No doubt he can improve as this year goes on so I am looking forward to seeing how he progresses from Saturday’s race.”

 ??  ?? Viridine.
Viridine.

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