Having secured a first Group One win with his training partner, and son, Calvin, Tony McEvoy is looking to add the Pakenham Cup to their trophy cabinet.
Hey Doc claimed the Group One Winterbottom Stakes in Perth last Saturday for the partnership while in Melbourne Secret Blaze won a 2040m-race at The Valley.
Following that victory Calvin McEvoy said Secret Blaze only needed to do well early in the week to be a starter in Saturday’s Pakenham Cup (2500m).
And after watching Secret Blaze bouncing around at Flemington on Wednesday, Tony McEvoy had no hesitation about tackling Saturday’s Listed race.
“Before we accepted I just wanted to make sure everything was in order before we gave him a shot at it, and I couldn’t fault him,” Tony McEvoy said.
“He was magnificent, so bright and bubbly, so he’ll be there.
“He’s eaten well and the people that ride him say he’s exactly the same as before last week so there was no reason not to run.”
After showing promise over shorter trips in his two-year-old year, Secret Blaze has relished the rise in distance.
As a three-year-old Secret Blaze won the Galilee Final at Caulfield over 2400m before running fifth in the South Australian Derby (2500m) at Morphettville.
One stumbling block may be the widest barrier in the 13-horse field, but McEvoy warned punters to ignore Secret Blaze at their peril.
Hey Doc overcame a wide draw under Luke Currie last week with Currie replacing Barend Vorster aboard Secret Blaze on Saturday.
“Over the 2500 metres, there’s plenty of time to sort that out but don’t ignore Luke Currie from a wide gate. He loves them,” McEvoy said.
“Barend got caught off the track last week, but he took his medicine and didn’t panic, but what a performance.
“Three-wide, four-wide, five-wide, no cover, and he was there to be beaten.”
McEvoy is planning to extend Secret Blaze’s campaign to take in the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington on New Year’s Day, but how much further Secret Blaze will go, the trainer is unsure.
“But I don’t think I’ll stretch him out to two miles (3200m) just at the moment,” he said.
Article from JustHorseRacing.com.au