Winning Evans back with the right crowd


Brent Evans, back in town with a winner and with his "head screwed on right", admits he made a mess of his first Melbourne stint.

"I hung around with the wrong crowd," said the Queenslander, whose first city winner since returning to Melbourne two months ago came with a hint of irony.

Over 2040m, Evans rode the perfect race aboard Lopov ($3.30) to beat You Think So, the drifting odds-on favourite ($1.60 to $1.90) trained by his old boss Mick Kent.

Evans was shunted back to Queensland this year after drifting off the rails with Kent, the trainer who lured him south. Evans approached trainer Danny O'Brien seeking a second chance.

"I just thought I'd have another crack so I rang Danny O'Brien," he said. "Most of them (supporters) have stood by me, so it's good."

O'Brien's assistant trainer, Gerard Tesoriero, said the stable had been aware Evans had a reputation for being "wayward", but said the 20-year-old had impressed them since arriving at Flemington in mid-May.

"He's got his head screwed on," Tesoriero said.

Evans was sent out yesterday with strict instructions to let Lopov, a notoriously difficult ride, stride forward.

"He played it very well," Tesoriero said. "He had the favourite off the bit a long way from home."

You Think So's inside gate, regarded pre-race as tricky by trainer Mick Kent, did not prove the favourite's undoing, but his inability to make ground fast did.

Jockey Luke Nolen quickly extricated You Think So off the rails and had him worse than midfield in the running line, while Evans had Lopov travelling sweetly third on the fence.

Lopov reeled in the leaders approaching the turn.

You Think So surged late after ducking in at the 150m, and missed by a short neck.

Story by Matt Stewart, to view full Herald Sun story click here

Photo by Slickpix, to view Slickpix website click here

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