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Legend puts a spring in McEvoy’s step

Kerrin McEvoy will miss the next two city meetings as he heads off for a short family break, but he is already looking forward to the new season and reuniting with Doncaster Mile winner Celestial Legend.

Celestial Legend and McEvoy won the Hobartville Stakes together; picture sportpix.com.au

The top jockey was sidelined for much of the autumn after fracturing a vertebra in a fall on Golden Slipper day, missing Celestial Legend's Group 1 triumph in the time-honoured feature. However, he will be back aboard the exciting Les Bridge-trained colt when he returns in the spring, and he cannot wait.

"It will be nice to see how he can progress into being a four-year-old," McEvoy said. "It sounds as though he is going to be heading towards the Golden Eagle and maybe the King Charles [III Stakes at Randwick] before that.

"He's exciting and he looks great. I had a couple of canters on him early in his prep and he feels great too."

McEvoy has been in good form since returning from his spinal injury at the end of May with seven wins from his past 50 rides. They include Ciaron Maher-trained first starter Linwood (NZ), who has kicked off her career with an encouraging win in Wednesday's Admire Mars At Arrowfield Handicap (1100m) at Warwick Farm.

Sourced from New Zealand by Australian Bloodstock, the three-year-old's performance came as a pleasant surprise to the stable with Maher's Sydney foreman Johann Gerard-Dubord saying they had left a bit in the tank.

"We've been fairly soft on her, there's not much of her, so we thought she would improve a lot on whatever she did today," Gerard-Dubord said "She was very new early in the run and she was off the bit for most of the way, but the last part of the race gives us a bit of confidence.

"They bought her to try to target the 'Super Maidens' so that is out of the way now, but I think there's a bit more to come."

Linwood (NZ) was McEvoy's 48th Sydney winner this season and he will have four meetings to bump that tally to a half-century when he returns from his holiday in time for the July 20 program at Rosehill.

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