McEvoy to defend title in Hong Kong Wed, 26 Nov 2014

Craig Brennan

Jockey Kerrin McEvoy returns to Hong Kong next month to defend his International Jockeys' Championship title.

McEvoy took the series at Happy Valley last year in the prelude to the Hong Kong International meeting at Sha Tin.

He again represents Australia this year, with fellow Sydney rider James McDonald representing New Zealand. Jockeys from around the world will compete in the four-race series on December 10.

McEvoy and McDonald will be joined by Christophe Soumillon (France), Pat Smullen (Ireland), Yuichi Fukunaga (Japan), S'Manga Khumal (South Africa), Ryan Moore (UK), Richard Hughes (UK), Irad Ortiz (USA) and Zac Purton (Hong Kong).

McEvoy said it was a privilege to be invited to compete in last year's series and is looking forward to defending the title.

"I went over and won it last year and they always invite the winner back which is nice," McEvoy said. "There's a good line-up of jockeys from around the the world and I feel very privileged to go again."

McEvoy said riding against the best jockeys from around the world brought out the best in him.

After spending 12 years riding for Godolphin, McEvoy decided to go freelance two months ago, riding Lucia Valentina to Group One success in the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington and into third place in the Caulfield Cup.

After spending the majority of the spring carnival in Melbourne, McEvoy returned to Sydney last week posting a couple of winners before riding at Ballarat's stand alone Cup fixture last Saturday.

He also rode the Chris Waller-trained Pythagorean to win the Goulburn Cup on Sunday.

After severing ties with Godolphin, McEvoy has been riding work mainly at Randwick and Rosehill instead of venturing out to Warwick Farm.

"I'm still doing the same amount of work, just for different trainers now," he said.