CHAMPION jockey Kerrin McEvoy found a silver lining from an injury-enforced six-week break as he prepares for his riding comeback.
McEvoy has recovered from breaking a bone in his right hand in a pre-race mishap on Sugar Bella in December and will return to the saddle with two rides at Canterbury on Friday night before a strong book at the feature Rosehill Gardens meeting on Saturday.
"There is never a good time to get injured but at least we were able to have a family Christmas and holiday together,'' McEvoy said.
"We then went up to the Gold Coast for a few days and celebrated my Mum's 60th birthday before (wife) Cathy and I went away to the Blue Mountains for our 10th wedding anniversary. But I've been itching to get back into it and rode trials this week. I'm pleased with how my hand feels and also my fitness so I'm looking forward to going back to the races.''
McEvoy's Rosehill rides include outstanding mare Global Glamour, the $3 favourite on TAB Fixed Odds for the Group 2 $200,000 Expressway Stakes (1200m).
Although McEvoy hasn't ridden the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Global Glamour since The Championships last autumn he has a good understanding of the mare, combining to win the Group 1 Thousand Guineas last season.
Global Glamour goes into the Expressway Stakes after her sixth behind Invincibella in the Magic Millions Fillies and Mares at the Gold three weeks ago.
"I know she is coming back at little in trip but I don't have an issue with that as she is a top class mare and very versatile.
"Gai and Adrian have given her a few weeks to freshen up and I think there were excuses for her Magic Millions run," McEvoy said. "She had the big weight (60.5kg) and wasn't beaten all that far. She will be hard to beat in the Expressway Stakes.''
McEvoy also rides trainer Chris Waller's two-year-olds, boom unbeaten colt Performer ($1.55 favourite) in the Group 3 $150,000 Canonbury Stakes (1100m) and Fiesta ($3.20 favourite) for the Group 3 $150,000 Widden Stakes (1100m).
"With Hughie (Bowman) being rubbed out, I've picked up some of his usual rides including Performer,'' McEvoy said. "This colt has been all the rage since winning the Breeders' Plate during the spring. He looks to have trialled nicely since he has come back into work.''
Fiesta was placed in the Gimcrack Stakes and Kirkham Plate at her only starts last spring and has also trialled impressively ahead of her Widden Stakes return.
"I have liked Fiesta's two trials,'' McEvoy said. "She's a nice filly who probably should have won a race by now.''
McEvoy also rides another Waller-trained galloper, Charlayne in the Your Local Greengrocer Handicap (1100m) with the three-year-old filly out to repeat her debut win at Canterbury last month.
"Charlayne scored a smart win on debut and she looks above average,'' the jockey said.
McEvoy is reunited with promising Don't Give A Damn in the Fresh For Kids Handicap (1300m) after winning twice on the chestnut during the spring including a dominant TAB Anniversary Handicap win on Everest Day.
"I won on Don't Give A Damn at Rosehill then he went to another level when he won at Randwick,'' McEvoy enthused. "He is a nice horse and drawn well (barrier two).''
McEvoy also rides More Moet for the Redzel combination of Team Snowden and owners Triple Crown in the Foodbank Handicap (2000m).
The Everest winner Redzel continues his build-up for a return to racing with a barrier trial hitout at Rosehill on Monday with McEvoy back in the saddle.
McEvoy also dismissed speculation he is on standby to replace the suspended Bowman on champion mare Winx when she resumes in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes at Royal Randwick on February 17 by confirming he will ride Redzel in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes at Flemington the same day.
"I'm definitely going to Flemington to ride Redzel,'' McEvoy said. "He was a great horse to me last year and it will be good to put him through his paces in the trial on Monday.''
McEvoy hopes to make a winning comeback to racing at Canterbury on Friday night where he rides Reach For Heaven ($3.90 favourite) in the Schweppes Shooting Star (1250m) and Asterius ($4.20) in the TAB Rewards Handicap (1550m).