Thoroughbred trainer Tony McEvoy has opted to stay away from the summer carnival in Perth, telling The Advertiser, “I’ve opted against going to Perth.’’
The top trainer from South Australia, based at Flemington, had two horses nominated for the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot on December 2. Hey Doc was one and Cool Passion was the other. McEvoy was also contemplating running his import Calderon for the Group 1 Railway Stakes. He also could have entered Big Memory in the Group 1 Kingston Town Classic the week following.
“The flight leaves on Sunday but I’ve decided to give Hey Doc a spell and I’m not sure Big Memory is going well enough to be honest,’’ he said.
Hey Doc was the wire-to-wire winner of the Group 1 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley in October. McEvoy is going to let Hey Doc lounge around the paddock and munch on some hay until he brings the four-year-old back for the Flemington Autumn Carnival. McEvoy’s tentative plan is to run Hey Doc first-up in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes.
McEvoy also has Royal Symphony to look after. The three-year-old will probably follow a similar program to Hey Doc. Royal Symphony ran fourth in the Cox Plate, despite being crowded by Happy Clapper throughout the race.
Of Royal Symphony, McEvoy said, “He’ll be a on a path similar to Hey Doc last year. He’ll probably run first-up in the Manfred Stakes, into the C S Hayes Stakes and then into the Australian Guineas,’’ he said.
Calderon, the high-priced import, is in the paddock after being gelded. He had a rough outing in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes, running last of 11 and his next outing in the Group 2 Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley convinced McEvoy that drastic action was necessary and it is hard to think of many actions more drastic than that which Calderon underwent.
McEvoy will have Vinland in Saturday’s Group 2 Sandown Guineas.