McEvoy looking for a Group 1 hat-trick
TRAINER Tony McEvoy is looking to kick start the biggest week of racing in Australia with three genuine chances in Group 1 races at Flemington tomorrow Oohood, Sunlight and Farooq ready to shine.
McEvoy is excited by the prospect of unleashing his topclass filly Oohood against the older mares at weight-for-age in tomorrow’s Empire Rose Stakes (1600m).
Oohood and her fellow threeyear-olds have just 50kg in tomorrow’s race while the older mares carry 57kg and big Flemington circuit will also play into her favour.
“When you’ve got a filly of class it’s a real advantage to have no weight and jockey the standard of Craig Williams able ride her at that weight,” McEvoy said.
“I’m quite excited to have her there, that’s for sure.
“The other advantage this week is the track. She’s never been to Flemington before but it should suit her beautifully.”
Finally shedding her tag as Australian’s best maiden with
win in the Flight Stakes at Randwick, Oohood is on track for her second win and second
“It was very much a relief to see her get that first win on the board,” he said.
“We had planned for that race. We took her to Sydney early with the Flight Stakes in mind and it was fantastic that she could win.”
McEvoy was thrilled with her third placing behind The Autumn Sun and Vassilator in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas last start although he is looking for her to improve a certain aspect of races.
“Her race day manners leave a little bit to be desired. She’s always been slow away from the gates which gets her back and gets her in trouble,” he said.
“She missed the start by nearly two lengths and it cost her running a clear second at Caulfield.”
Sunlight has come through her Manikato Stakes run extremely well that McEvoy has decided to back her up in the Coolmore Stud Stakes.
The star three-year-old may have finished midfield as favourite in last Friday night’s Group 1 but was never tested at any stage.
“It like watching a train crash,” McEvoy said of Sunlight’s completely luckless run.
“She was high kicking off the track so it like she never had a race. She has pulled up in magnificent order.”
McEvoy isn’t fazed by the quick back-up nor the fact she was beaten at her only start at Flemington.
“She backed up into the Magic Millions and Golden Slipper and they were coming off hard races. This week she’s coming off an easy run so I have no problems with the back-up.”
“She was beaten down the straight in the Maribyrnong Trial on debut where she finished third.
“We tried to hold her up that day and it didn’t suit her. Her style is she wants run so we won’t be interfering with that this time.”
McEvoy’s hopes of landing his first VRC Derby rest with the blue-blood Farooq.
The colt was gallant in defeat when a nose second to Home Ground in the Listed Geelong Classic over 2200m and should appreciate the 2500m of the Derby.
“It was a really good run last start. He stayed very well,” he said.
“He is out of Rostova who won a Group 1 at 1200m. That is the only thing that makes me a little bit nervous but he has strong staying blood through Frankel.”
Frankel is the sire of Melbourne Cup hopefuls Finche and Rostropovich who was a close second in the Irish Derby in June while his grandsire is the great Galileo, pre-eminent source of stayers in the world.
Pic: Grant Guy Trainer Tony McEvoy has three live chances in tomorrow’s Group One’s at Flemington. Oohood is chasing her secong 1 win in the Empire Rose Stakes, Sunlight (inset right) backs up ther Coolmore Stakes and Farooq (inset left , blue cap) tackles the Victoria Derby.