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Tony McEvoy chasing a second Plate win

Tony McEvoy knows the feeling of a Cox Plate win and wants to experience it again.

But he knows a champion awaits on Saturday when he starts three-year-old Royal Symphony in the country’s premier weight-for-age race at Moonee Valley against dual winner and $1.15 favourite Winx.

McEvoy won the 2003 Cox Plate with Fields Of Omagh when he trained for the Lindsay Park operation.

Saturday’s field of nine is the smallest since 2003 when Fields Of Omagh upstaged seven rivals including star Lonhro.

“I think people accepted me as a trainer when I won that race and it’s a great feeling,” McEvoy said.

“It’s a feeling I’d love everyone to feel. And I’m ready for that feeling again.”

Of course, McEvoy realises Winx’s opposition is going to be hard-pressed to beat the Chris Waller-trained champion who is going for her 22nd straight win.

“You’ve got to go out with a plan to win every race you’re in,” McEvoy said.

“We haven’t told Royal Symphony that Winx is in the race.

“I think he’ll love 2040 metres and I think he’s getting better all the time.

“I think he’s ready to run a peak performance in his career. Whether that’s good enough, I’m not sure.”

McEvoy’s nephew Kerrin McEvoy had the option to ride Royal Symphony at 49.5kg but stuck with the Charlie Appleby-trained Godolphin horse Folkswood whp he partnered to win the Cranbourne Cup.

“I’ve ridden more winners for Sheikh Mohammed than I have for my uncle Tony,” the jockey siad.

“And I could eat a little bit more leading into it.”

Kerrin McEvoy, who turned 37 on Tuesday, was impressed by Folkswood at Cranbourne but acknowledged it was a mountainous task against Winx.

“Obviously we’re up against it with the great mare in the race,” he said.

“We’re going to go out there and give it our best shot.

“I think Folkswood can run really well. He’s got to run a personal best to get anywhere near Winx but I think he’s a horse who’ll handle the pressure and the team that travelled out here with him have just left a little bit in the tank to improve off that last run.

“It suggests that he’s going to put up a personal best and run really well.”

Winx’s trainer Chris Waller says the mare is “in the zone” ahead of her quest for a record-equalling third Cox Plate.

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