Kerrin McEvoy has lost the ride on Saturday’s Sydney Cup favourite Almandin to rival jockey Damien Oliver.

Damien Oliver will ride Almandin, above, in the 2018 Sydney Cup at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Damien Oliver will ride Almandin, above, in the 2018 Sydney Cup at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

McEvoy won the 2016 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington and also steered the Lloyd Williams owned import to win the Group 1 $1.5m Kia Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill on March 31.

The Macedon Lodge Team, headed by prominent owner Lloyd Williams, have elected to go with Oliver to ride the Melbourne Cup winner in the Group 1 $2m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) on day two of The Championships at Randwick.

Oliver has also been a regular rider on Almandin with the pair teaming up for wins in the Listed $120,000 italktravel Harry White Classic (2400m) at Caulfield and the Group 3 $300,000 The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington before his Melbourne Cup victory and also in the Listed $120,000 Japan Racing Association Trophy (2500m) at Flemington during the 2017 Melbourne Spring Carnival.

Almandin has been allocated 57kg top weight for the Sydney Cup while McEvoy has been switched to ride the lightly weighted stablemate Aloft who only has 51kg.

Aloft has done his Sydney Cup lead up preparation in Melbourne with only one Autumn Carnival appearance for a win in the Listed $120,000 3AW Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) at Flemington on March 3.

McEvoy has also been involved in another major shock jockey switch and will ride last Saturday’s Doncaster Mile winner Happy Clapper in this weekend’s Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), replacing Blake Shinn.

Shinn was aboard Happy Clapper for his two lengths victory in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick but has elected to ride the Darren Weir trained Humidor in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

Almandin is the current $3.50 favourite for the 2018 Sydney Cup with ahead of his stablemate Aloft at $6 and Japanese raider Prestwick at $8.

Early betting for the 2018 Sydney Cup at $3.50 Almandin, $6 Aloft, $9 Prestwick, Sir Charles Road, $10 Ventura Storm, $11 Who Shot Thebarman, $12 Auvray, $15 Libran, Single Gaze, $17 Lord Fandango, Patrick Erin, Peribsen, $21 Alward, Master Of Arts, $26 Fanatic, Harlem, Lizzie L’Amour, Ormito, $31 or better the rest.

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