Evans and Sir Ravanelli closing in on Highway win

The ever-consistent Sir Ravanelli for Terry Evans will contest the 1400m Class 3 Highway Handicap at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday. Photo: Bradley Photos.

There’s consistent and then there’s the Terry Evans-trained Sir Ravanelli. 

The five-year-old has started nine times for three wins and four placings, earning connections just shy of $100,000 in prizemoney. 

In fact, the Iffraaj gelding has made a name for himself as a Highway Handicap bridesmaid, starting in four of them for two seconds, a third and a fourth. 

Last time out, Sir Ravanelli started from gate 10 in the 1200m Class Three Highway Handicap at Rosehill Gardens and flashed late to finish third behind Pokerjack for jockey Regan Bayliss. 

On Saturday, Bayliss jumps back on board, with Evans setting his consistent galloper for the 1400m Class Three Highway at Rosehill Gardens. 

Being a good money spinner has connections enjoying the ride, and Evans couldn’t be happier with Sir Ravanelli.

“We would like him to win in town, but he has been so consistent, and the owners are happy to get the prizemoney and they are having the time of their lives,” he said. 

“No doubt he is close to winning one, but he is just a very immature five-year-old.

“This is basically his only prep. He had a couple of preps in New Zealand and trialled, and he has had some other smaller issues, but I think he will be a nice horse next prep.” 

Regardless of where he finishes, Sir Ravanelli is bound for the paddock after Saturday’s race with his Tuncurry trainer setting him for the 2023 Country Championships

“I was almost going to turn him out after last week, but with the 1400m on this week, I thought we would give him one more run and then tip him out,” he said.

“It’s not like he needs a spell because we can spell them in between work. We put them in day yards here, take them home, and go to the beach but he has earned a break and we will give him a month off and bring him back for the Country Championships.”

With Tuncurry Forster Jockey Club hosting the 2023 Mid North Coast qualifier in February, Evans hopes to hold a strong hand in the $150,000 race on his home track. 

“It’s great for us because it is at Tuncurry next year,” he said.

“He will probably go around and there will be Robarge, which is in at Gosford over 1200m on Tuesday, and we have Par Avion, which was in last year’s qualifier (at Taree) – she finished fifth but was knocked over 100m from the line.” 

The $500,000 Country Championships has proven to be a very popular race for country trainers in NSW, and Evans was pleased to have a regular target for some of his better gallopers.  

“It does help because you can aim for something, and if we have them working together, we can head for that date instead of heading for a normal race and worrying about getting balloted out or something like that,” Evans said. 

When asked about the stable’s best chance in the 2023 Country Championships, Evans struggled to split the three. 

“He (Sir Ravanelli) is probably the best of the three, although there is not much between him and Par Avion,” he said. 

“She is only 15 hands and weighs 480kg, and Robarge has a lot of improvement in her too.”

For the moment, Evans and his team will focus their attention on Saturday’s Highway Handicap, and readers can check out the full field by clicking here