Can Kerrin do it again?

6 November 2023 Written by VRC

Kerrin McEvoy, described as one of the humblest Australian jockeys currently riding, has won an incredible three Melbourne Cups, a feat only matched by a handful of others. While it would be a fairytale ending to Damien Oliver’s career for him to win his fourth, could McEvoy be the man to do so, with his ride on Caulfield Cup runner-up, Ashrun?

Born in 1980, Kerrin McEvoy came from a South Australian racing family that was a blend of two prominent and well-regarded families in the area: the McEvoys and the Hollands.

His extended family have a strong connection to racing, with dad Phillip and uncle Peter both former jockeys. Leading trainer Tony McEvoy is also another uncle. Kerrin has four children with wife, Cathy, one of 10 children from the famed Payne family of Ballarat. Cathy’s sister, Michelle Payne is the only female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup in 2015 aboard Prince Of Penzance. 

“I think if you find something you are passionate about in life, then I have no doubt you can be successful,” McEvoy told more than 400 people who came to the Streaky Bay foreshore in 2022 to see a statue of the three-time Melbourne Cup winner unveiled.

“I am not sure I set out directly to achieve what I have done, but I have been fortunate with my success,” he added.

McEvoy has ridden more than 2,100 winners including 81 Group 1 victories. His most significant and first Group victory was as an apprentice when he rode Brew to victory in the 2000 Melbourne Cup. The leading apprentice in the state, McEvoy rode the race of his life to secure the most famous race on the Australian racing calendar.

The second-youngest jockey to win the race at just age 20, this victory saw him jettisoned onto the world stage, securing a contract to ride for Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum riding against the best jockeys in Europe. There was no turning back. 

After riding 120 winners for Godolphin in Europe – including six at Group 1 level – McEvoy returned home and based himself in Sydney to ride for Darley, Sheikh Mohammad’s Australian racing operation.

He established himself as a leading freelance jockey in 2014, and won his second Melbourne Cup aboard the Lloyd Williams-owned Almandin in 2016. He then gave Godolphin their first-ever win in the race aboard Cross Counter in 2018.

Not only did he win the 2018 Cup, he won major races during the 2018/19 season on The Autumn Sun, Avilius, Prince Fawaz and Trekking.

He was also aboard Redzel for victories in the first two editions of The Everest in 2017 and 2018.

With his three Melbourne Cup wins placing him on the cusp of joining both Harry White and Bobbie Lewis on four Melbourne Cup victories, an additional victory in Australia’s greatest race will only add to the legend.