McEvoy back in weekend winner’s stall at Rosehill

Franz Josef will head north for a winter carnival target after giving Kerrin McEvoy his first Saturday winner back from injury.

Jockey : KERRIN MCEVOY. Picture: Steve Hart

A typographical error during the week had him answering to the name 'Kevin', but it was pure Kerrin Mcevoy horsemanship that helped lift Franz Josef to a stirring victory at Rosehill before rain halted the meeting.

The top jockey only returned to race riding at Canterbury on Wednesday after spending two-months sidelined by a vertebrae injury suffered in a race day fall in March.

During a midweek interview, his given name inadvertently appeared as 'Kevin' and McEvoy hasn't stopped hearing about it since.

"'Kevin' gets a winner on a Saturday. I'm copping it at all angles there thanks to Sky's graphics man," McEvoy quipped.

Despite his injury-enforced break, McEvoy wasted little time getting back in the winner's circle, triumphant aboard the Annabel Neasham -trained Mickey's Mantle at Hawkesbury on Thursday then demonstrating why he is regarded as one of the country's eminent riders with an astutely judged effort aboard Franz Josef.

Allowing the three-year-old to bowl along in the lead, McEvoy asked him to extend in the straight as Captain Furai ranged up alongside.

But McEvoy knew what he had in the tank and under his encouragement, Franz Josef ($3.70 fav) rallied, surging again to put 1-1/2 lengths on Captain Furai ($4) and win the EGroup Protective Services Handicap (1500m).

In doing so, the gelding all but booked his passage to Queensland for a shot at the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic (1600m) at Eagle Farm in two weeks.

"He'd taken monumental improvement from his first-up run and we will probably push on to the Gunsynd in Brisbane now," co-trainer Sterling Alexiou said.

"He has taken a little while to show his best but I'm sure he's a horse who will keep improving preparation to preparation."

Franz Joseph got his win on the board before Racing NSW stewards, in consultation with senior jockeys, called off the final five races due to poor visibility and the deteriorating track.

Chief stipe Steve Railton summoned McEvoy, Sam Clipperton, Josh Parr and Jay Ford into the stewards' room after the running of the fifth event and the consensus was that conditions were unsafe to continue.

"I'm not happy saying it, I'd love to stay racing," McEvoy said.

Ford added that he had struggled to see during the second half of the Bisley Workwear Handicap (1100m) in which he rode the unplaced Miss Emma.

"In that last race, I couldn't see after we had gone 400m to 500 metres," Ford said.

"From the 700 metres in, visibility is very poor.''

Sam Clipperton won the race aboard Cigar Flick, who powered home down the outside, but said he was also having visibility issues.

"I didn't want to pull my goggles down because she was travelling really well," Clipperton said.

"I turned my head to the side and I had a little clear speck, so I just aimed up.

"The rain is becoming heavier and although the track is somewhat safe, the visibility is, I wouldn't even say minimal, it is non-existent."

The Listed Lord Mayors Cup (2000m) was among the races washed out with racing officials to meet with trainers on Monday to determine if it can be rescheduled.