Kerrin McEvoy hopes he can be the ultimate gatecrasher before heading back to Australia by flooring dual Arc winner Enable aboard Regal Reality in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday.
The 38-year-old will bid to inflict just a second defeat on the John Gosden-trained superstar, after being snapped up by Sir Michael Stoute to ride the four-year-old in the 10-furlong showpiece, which is the latest leg of this year’s Qipco British Champions Series.
Finishing third over a mile on his seasonal bow in a Group Two at the Esher track in April, the son of Intello built on that effort – despite threatening not to make it out of the chute on to the track – when landing the Brigadier Gerard Stakes over course and distance last time out.
McEvoy said: “I rode him on Wednesday morning in a piece of work. He seems to have come out of the race well – we just did a routine piece of work, but it was good to acquaint myself with him.
“The horse is coming off a nice course win there last time. We have got the great Enable to tackle at the weekend, but it is always nice to get a ride for Sir Michael Stoute.
“I had a nice chat with Ryan Moore about his pre-race antics last time. It will be a case of getting him on to the track and keep him moving. Luckily it didn’t seem to affect mentally him last time.
“It’s a gigantic task to beat Enable, but it would be a cherished winner if I could do it.”
Principally brought over to ride for Charlie Appleby in the absence of the sidelined William Buick, the Melbourne Cup-winning rider is looking forward to representing both Newmarket handler Stoute, who is seeking a record-breaking seventh win in the race, and owners Cheveley Park Stud.
He added: “Sir Michael is a class trainer and I’m lucky to have ridden for him previously and it is always nice to get on another nice one for him.
“I had a winner at Doncaster for him on one owned by the Queen and it will be nice to put the Cheveley Park colours on in a Group One.
“It’s going to be great to be part of the race. I’ve only ridden in the race once before and it is always nice to test your metal in the biggest races.”
Finding a chink in the armour of Enable, who will be making her first start since winning the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs in November, is a tough task – but McEvoy is pinning his hopes on Regal Reality’s superior race fitness coming into play.
He said: “We all have a mountain to climb, so to speak, as you have to appreciate her record as it speaks for itself, what with her being a dual Arc winner.
“It was a couple of years ago that she was beaten over the trip and she is a much stronger version of herself now.
“I’m sure she will be up for it first time out and John Gosden and his stable will have got her ready to get the best effort out of her.
“I think the other six runners will be thinking the same and hanging their hat on having race-fitness over Enable and my horse has had two runs back this campaign, which can only help.”
The Classic-winning rider may be nearing the end of his latest stint riding in Britain, with his departure back to Australia set after next week’s July Festival at Newmarket, but he has not ruled out the prospect of being seen back again next year.
He said: “It’s been a quick visit, but it’s always nice to come back for Royal Ascot and have a few rides there. It has been nice getting a few meetings in.
“It is unfortunate circumstances that William has been out and it has been a case of filling the gaps a bit. It’s always pleasing coming back and catching up with old friends.
“Charlie’s team have been flying and Tony Hind (agent) has been kind enough along the way to pick up a few more rides for me.
“It would be nice to come back with an Australian horse next year at Royal Ascot. I do enjoying coming back here, so you can never say never.”