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McEvoy hopes for summer success on Galah
Mathew Toogood
06:08 AEST Thu Dec 6 2012

After aborting a Group One mission to Perth with Galah, the Darley team has altered its sights to a Sydney summer double, starting with the Festival Stakes.

Galah was in line for a trip west after the Melbourne spring carnival but when it emerged the four-year-old would not make the final field for the $1 million Railway Stakes he remained on the eastern seaboard.

The Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on Saturday will be the first of two targets this month along with the Group Two Villiers Stakes (1600m).

Darley jockey Kerrin McEvoy chose to partner Galah in the Festival over stablemates Classics and Quidnunc.

"It was pretty close between him and Classics who was a good last start winner," McEvoy said.

"They are all in good shape and there's not much between them.

"I just feel he (Galah) is going to be our main chance in a race like the Villiers. He's a colt that's up to winning the Villiers Stakes, that's for sure, and hopefully I can be on him."

Galah has barrier three in the field of 17 with first emergency Gangster's Choice gaining a start following the early scratching of Praecido.

Topweight Monton will be chasing back-to-back wins in the event and came up with gate eight, while last start stakes winners Cabernet and Darci Be Good had differing fortunes with Cabernet drawing four and Darci Be Good 17.

McEvoy said Galah had returned to Sydney in fine shape after his Melbourne campaign.

"Pete (Snowden) has freshened him up and he's doing really well at home," McEvoy said.

"He's travelled back up to Sydney nicely and he's drawn a nice alley for Saturday.

"He's going to go on to the Villiers but he's forward enough in condition to say he's going to run well this week."

Trainer Ron Quinton was satisfied with Monton's draw.

"That should work out alright for him and it's certainly better than drawing 18," Quinton said.

"He needs to have a reasonable run with that weight (59kg) but I'm very happy with the horse."

Meanwhile, leading rider Hugh Bowman has told stewards he is confident he will be fit to ride at both Friday night's Canterbury meeting and at Rosehill on Saturday.

Bowman injured his heel when he was dislodged returning to scale after a race in Mauritius on the weekend where he was competing in a jockeys' series.

He is booked for Darci Be Good in the Festival.