Trainer Tony McEvoy has confirmed that smart 3YO Hey Doc (Duporth-Heyington Honey, by General Nediym) is set to resume racing in the Gr1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on 27 October. The Australian Guineas winner has not been sighted since finishing 10th (of 12) behind Humidor in the Gr1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on 16 September.
Black Heart Bart, Scales Of Justice and Vega Magic are among the 18 Group One winners that feature in the nominations for the three $1 million races of The TABtouch Masters – the Gr1 Railway Stakes, Gr1 Winterbottom Stakes and Gr1 Kingston Town Classic. Black Heart Bart and Scales Of Justice, the WA Horse of the Year recipients of the past two years, are just two of the 10 Group One winners among the Railway Stakes nominations, with the others being Egg Tart, Good Project, Ihtsahymn, It’s Somewhat, Perfect Reflection, Redkirk Warrior, Silent Sedition and Single Gaze. Vega Magic, which has won two Gr1 titles since transferring from the WA stable of Sean Casey to the Victorian yard of David & Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, headlines the Winterbottom Stakes entries that include fellow top-flight winners Hey Doc, Impending, Malaguerra, Redkirk Warrior, Santa Ana Lane, Sheidel, The Quarterback, as well as defending champion Takedown. Mark Worwood, Racing and Wagering Manager of Perth Racing commented: “Perth Racing is delighted with not only the quantity and quality of the nominations but also their geographical spread. One hundred and nine of the 222 nominations for the club’s three Group One races are trained outside Western Australia and that demonstrates the pulling power of an event of which there’s none like it anywhere else.” Worwood added: “It’s the world’s only single-track thoroughbred racing festival featuring a Group One race worth at least $1,000,000 on three consecutive Saturdays.”
Eighteen horses have been nominated for Saturday's $750,000 Gr1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington. The weight-for-age feature will be run with a 16-horse capacity field. The two highest rated horses in the race, Godolphin's Hartnell and Black Heart Bart, also occupy the top two spots in pre-post betting with Hartnell a dominant $1.80 favourite ahead of Black Heart Bart at $5. The only other runners under double-figure odds are Australian Guineas winner Hey Doc and triple Gr1 winner Le Romain at $9. Click here to view all race nominations for Flemington on Saturday.
A gala dinner at the Stamford Grand on Sunday night to celebrate Thoroughbred Racing SA's annual Industry Awards and Hall of Fame Inductions saw jockey Jamie Kah steal the show, taking home four awards. Her stellar season saw her set a new record for most wins in a season by a female jockey and, in doing so, be recognised with the industry's most prestigious honour, the John Letts Medal for excellence in riding and outstanding State wide achievements. Kah also collected the Glennon-Johnson Award for South Australian Metropolitan Jockey of the Year, UBET South Australian Provincial and Country Jockey of the Year and South Australian Jockey of the Year. Rival Emily Finnegan was awarded the UBET South Australian Metropolitan Apprentice Jockey of the Year, Gr1 Australian Guineas winner Hey Doc garnered the Festival Hire SA Champion Racehorse of the Year, Hall of Fame Trainer Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluyas took the South Australian Metropolitan Trainer of the Year award and dual Melbourne Cup winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy was inducted into the South Australian Racing Hall of Fame. Also inducted into the Hall of Fame were 1967 Newmarket Handicap winner Manihi, sire of the immortal Manikato. From a media perspective, Best Racing Story was tied between Adelaide Advertiser colleagues Ben Scadden and Lincoln Moor, while Best Racing Picture went to Jenny Barnes. Thoroughbred Racing SA Chief Executive Jim Watters commented, "The Industry Awards and Hall of Fame induction provides an opportunity to publicly acknowledge the accomplishments of some of South Australia's racing greats, as well as its future stars."
Trainer Tony McEvoy acknowledges that Hey Doc (Duporth-Heyington Honey, by General Nediym) faces his sternest test to date in Saturday's $1 million weight-for-age Gr1 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield. A star of last season's 3YO crop having won the Gr1 Australian Guineas and placing in the Gr1 Caulfield Guineas, Hey Doc will now attempt to graduate to open weight-for-age company – a transition so many in his age group fail to execute. "It's another level for him I believe," McEvoy told racing.com. "I'm not knocking him. I love him dearly and he's done a great thing for us, but he's now out of that protected three-year-old bracket." He added: "This is his biggest test to date at weight-for-age so he's going to have to be on his toes. But the thing about this horse is he's extremely brave and extremely honest and he gives you everything." Hey Doc commenced his spring campaign in grand style with a strong finishing win in the Gr3 Aurie's Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on 12 August, and McEvoy is hopeful that run will stand him in good stead for Saturday. "I can't fault him. He had that good strong run down the straight in the Aurie's Star. He's had three weeks so been able to give him a nice easy week to recover from that brave performance." After Saturday, McEvoy nominated races such as the Gr1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and Gr1 Makybe Diva Stakes as likely targets.
At Flemington in Melbourne, Jindera Park's Gr1-winning stallion Duporth (Red Ransom-Staging, by Success Express) added a Group success when 4YO bay gelding Hey Doc (Duporth-Heyington Honey, by General Nediym) commenced his spring campaign in grand style with a strong win in the $150,000 Gr3 Aurie's Star Handicap (1200m) for 3YO+, defeating Cannyescent & Grande Rosso. This was an excellent return by last season's Gr1 Australian Guineas winner who improved his record to 7 wins (including the Gr1 Australian Guineas & Gr2 Stutt Stakes) and 3 placings (including the Gr1 MRC Caulfield Guineas, Gr3 MRC Manfred Stakes & Gr3 VRC CS Hayes Stakes) from 15 starts for $1,100,900 in earnings. "I thought he was fantastic. He lifted with his big weight and showed that he is a really class horse," trainer Tony McEvoy told racing.com. "This will turn his coat and bring him on in leaps and bounds. We are right on track to go to that weight-for-age Group One in three weeks," added McEvoy, referring to the Gr1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on 2 September. "I think he is a magnificent 1400 metres horse. We could look at the Makybe Diva or freshen him up for the Sir Rupert Clarke. There are plenty of options for a horse like him."
Australian Guineas winner Hey Doc will continue his spring preparation with an 800m jump-out at Flemington this morning, reports AAP. The rising 4YO hasn't raced since finishing sixth behind Vega Magic in the Gr1 Goodwood in Adelaide on 20 May. Trainer Tony McEvoy said the high class gelding was likely to make his seasonal reappearance in the Gr3 Aurie's Star (1200m) at Flemington on 12 August. "He's not going to be tested in the jump-out at all but I just wanted to familiarise him again with the Flemington straight because I'm considering running him in the Aurie's Star," McEvoy said. "The Aurie's Star into the Memsie [Gr1] into the Makybe Diva Stakes [Gr1] is the early little program provided the horse tells me he's going well enough."
Boom colt Royal Symphony has claimed the top spot in betting for the $1 million Gr1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) to be run at Caulfield racecourse on 14 October. Online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au reacted to Royal Symphony's explosive 3.75 length win in Saturday's $100,000 Gippsland Region Handicap (1400m) at Flemington by installing him as the $9.00 favourite for the stallion-making spring feature. "Royal Symphony is a late bloomer and was a very impressive winner at Flemington last Saturday. That was only his second start, but he looks as though he will be a force in the Caulfield Guineas and other major three-year-old races next season,'' said sportsbet.com.au's Will Byrne. The Tony McEvoy-trained colt's record now reads 2 wins from 2 starts with a combined winning margin of more than 7 lengths. "That was something special," McEvoy said. "He could go all the way. I would go so far as to say that Hey Doc couldn't do that at that stage and he won the Guineas [Gr1 Australian Guineas]." Royal Symphony (Domesday-Naturalist, by Palace Music), who hails from the family of three-time Gr1 winner Naturalism, was bred at Wingrove Park in Victoria. "We are very proud to have bred and handled such a quality colt," Wingrove Park CEO Joseph Vella said. "He was a standout from an early age and had the bloodlines to match."
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $1 million Gr1 Darley Goodwood (1200m) to be run at Morphettville racecourse in Adelaide on Saturday. Australia's second-best horse Black Heart Bart has drawn well in barrier two in his attempt to win back-to-back Goodwoods. The Darren Weir-trained 5-time Gr1 winner currently dominates the TAB market at $3.20. Surprisingly, dual Gr3-winning West Australian sprinter Vega Magic (barrier 6) is next best in the market at $6 despite never having raced outside his home state. He will be having his first start for the Lindsay Park team of David & Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig. Next is the Gr1 Robert Sangster Stakes winning mare Secret Agenda (barrier 5) at $7 and the Peter Gelagotis-trained dual Gr1 winner Malaguerra (barrier 9) at $8. All other horses are at double-figure odds, headed by Australian Guineas winner Hey Doc (barrier 21) at $15.
Trainer Tony McEvoy will give top 3YO Hey Doc (Duporth-Heyington Honey, by General Nediym) an exhibition gallop between races at Morphettville on Saturday ahead of the Gr1 Goodwood (1200m) on 20 May, reports racing.com. The Australian Guineas winner, who last raced when ninth in the Gr1 Doncaster Handicap on 1 April, worked at McEvoy's Angaston property on Monday morning as he continues to build towards the $1 million sprint feature. "Luke Currie came over and gave him a little gallop here at Angaston and he galloped really well and he's going down to Adelaide at Morphettville on Saturday to have a gallop between races," McEvoy said. Despite being most effective over distances of seven furlongs and a mile, McEvoy expects Hey Doc to sprint well fresh in the Goodwood. "He's obviously very good at a mile, being a Group One winner at a mile, and his run at 1400 metres was really explosive in the C.S. Hayes, and I think you need a really strong 1400 metre horse to win a Goodwood," McEvoy said. "His 1200m form is probably not good enough to win a Goodwood but hopefully he's a better horse now and I'm really looking forward to seeing him under a high-pressure 1200. He should be hitting the line very strongly."
Trainer Tony McEvoy is contemplating running top 3YO Hey Doc in the $1 million Gr1 Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on 10 May, reports racing.com. The Australian Guineas winner was last seen finishing ninth in the Gr1 Doncaster Handicap on 1 April. "We're keeping him in for a few days and see how he is and then I'll decide whether he'll run in The Goodwood or go to the paddock," McEvoy said. "He's been having a good time there at Flemington, going to the beach and enjoying himself.” McEvoy added: "When I ask him the question I'll know then but at the moment I'm just giving him a couple of easy weeks and then we'll make a decision."
Trainer Tony McEvoy has confirmed that Australian Guineas winner Hey Doc will line up in Saturday’s $3 million Gr1 Doncaster Mile at Royal Randwick. “He seems well. The forecast (for dry weather) looks a little bit better in Sydney this week. I know it is a huge step up for him, but he is a gelding he’s got 51 kilograms on his back and I’ve got nothing to protect with him,” McEvoy told ANZ Bloodstock News. “He seems to be going as well now as he was going into the Guineas.”
James Cummings is considering bypassing the traditional lead-up to the Australian Derby and taking on the older horses with classy staying three-year-old Prized Icon (More Than Ready-Tropical Affair, by Danehill), reports racenet. The Gooree Stud homebred is likely to miss the Gr1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) against his own age group in preference to the Gr1 Ranvet Stakes over the same distance, in what will be his final start before the $2 million Gr1 Australian Derby (2400m) at Royal Randwick on 1 April. Last season's Victoria Derby winner showed he is on track to claim the derby double after his eye catching second to Hey Doc in the Australian Guineas (1600m) last start. "I'm going to put a late entry in for the Ranvet Stakes on Saturday. I look at the Rosehill Guineas nominations and there's plenty of depth there," Cummings said. "I know the older horses are far from being slouches but the chances are we'll get a wet track on Saturday so I can run him against the older horses and give him a bit of weight relief (54.5kg)." Cummings said Prized Icon had thrived since his last run. "The horse is brilliant," he said. "I haven't needed to do much with him since he got home." He added: "I've just kept him ticking over…He's tightened up sufficiently and I'm really happy with him."
At Flemington in Melbourne, Jindera Park's Gr1-winning stallion Duporth (Red Ransom-Staging, by Success Express) added a success at the highest level when 3YO bay gelding Hey Doc (Duporth-Heyington Honey, by General Nediym) powered along the inside rail to win by 0.8 length for trainer Tony McEvoy in the $755,000 Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) for 3YO colts & geldings, over last year's Gr1 VRC Derby winning colt Prized Icon (More Than Ready-Tropical Affair, by Danehill) & Snitzson (Snitzel-Shock Pak, by Blackfriars). Hey Doc added substantially to his record making it 6 wins (including the Gr2 Stutt Stakes) and 3 placings (including the Gr1 MRC Caulfield Guineas, Gr3 MRC Manfred Stakes & Gr3 VRC CS Hayes Stakes) from 12 starts for $969,900 earnings. Trainer Tony McEvoy, who was celebrating his first Gr1 win as a trainer in his own right, earmarked the $3 million Gr1 Doncaster Mile in Sydney as a potential target for Hey Doc. "He was a deserved favourite and I am just so proud of the horse," McEvoy told Racing.com. "He has achieved what we set him to achieve but three-year-olds profile quite well in the Doncaster. We will let the dust settle but he could go to the George Ryder and then the Doncaster."
Azazel's autumn preparation is over with trainer Tony McEvoy deciding to spell the talented 2YO to concentrate on the spring. "He galloped really nicely but he's just not going as well as I know he can, so I've just made the decision this morning that he'll go to the paddock and we'll set him for the spring," McEvoy told Racing.com. "He's a very good colt. If you consider that Hey Doc didn't have the form of Azazel as a two-year-old and he's now favourite for the Australian Guineas, I'm really looking forward to next year with Azazel." A winner of 1 of his 4 starts thus far, Azazel (Snitzel-Allariza, by Linamix) won the Listed (Restricted) Inglis Banner (1000m) and was also placed behind Property in the Listed Blue Diamond Preview.
At Flemington in Melbourne, Jindera Park's Gr1-winning stallion Duporth (Red Ransom-Staging, by Success Express) added a Group success when 3YO bay gelding Hey Doc (Duporth-Heyington Honey, by General Nediym) powered home to score by 1.5 lengths for trainer Tony McEvoy in the $150,000 Gr3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) for 3YO colts & geldings, over 3YO colts Malaise (Helmet-Insouciance, by Quest for Fame) & Land Of Plenty (Stratum-Dancing, by Spectrum). Hey Doc, who was an $85,000 purchase for McEvoy Mitchell Racing at the 2015 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Rosemont Stud, improved his record to 5 wins (including the Gr2 Stutt Stakes) and 3 placings (including the Gr1 MRC Caulfield Guineas) from 11 starts for $507,900 earnings. Trainer Tony McEvoy confirmed Hey Doc's nest start will be in the $750,000 Gr1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on 4 March. "He was explosive today, it was very exciting to watch," McEvoy told Racing.com.
At Caulfield in Melbourne Coolmore's former Gr1-winning Champion Australian Sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) celebrated a group success when 3YO filly Legless Veuve (Pins-Hyades, by O'Reilly) scored by 0.8-length for trainer Stuart Webb in the $150,000 Gr3 Manfred Stakes (1200m) for 3YOs, over 3YO colt Into Orbit (Northern Meteor-Rockin Babe, by Rock Of Gibraltar) and 3YO gelding Hey Doc (Duporth-Heyington Honey, by General Nediym). Having her first start since running in the Gr1 Thousand Guineas last October, Legless Veuve, a NZ$150,000 yearling consigned by Waikato Stud at the 2015 NZB National Yearling Sales Series, took her record to 3 wins (including the Gr2 Thousand Guineas Prelude) and a placing from 6 starts for $248,400 earnings. She is a full-sister to Gr3 Mannerism Stakes winner & Gr1 Telegraph Handicap placegetter Tootsie.
At Caulfield in Melbourne, Coolmore's multiple Gr1-winning shuttler & former star Australian sprinter Choisir (Danehill Dancer-Great Selection, by Lunchtime) celebrated an elite success when 3YO colt Divine Prophet (Choisir-Prophet Jewel, by Encosta de Lago) scored by 0.2 length for trainers John, Wayne & Michael Hawkes in the $1 million Gr1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) for 3YOs, over fellow 3YO colt Seaburge (Sebring-Polska, by Encosta de Lago) & 3YO gelding Hey Doc (Duporth-Heyington Honey, by General Nediym). The highly regarded Divine Prophet improved his record to 3 wins (including the Gr3 Up And Coming Stakes) and 2 placings (the Gr1 ATC Champagne Stakes & Gr2 TC Stan Fox Stakes) from 7 starts for $859,525 earnings. Divine Prophet - who is a full brother to Gr3 winner and dual Gr1 placegetter Proisir - holds a entry in the Gr1 WS Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on 22 October, and co-trainer Wayne Hawkes said the weight-for-age feature remains a possible target. "It's a big race...it's a stallion-making race and this is another good colt who will [one day] go to stud; it's a great effort," Hawkes told racing.com. "We always put the horse first. If we think he warrants going to the Cox Plate he will line up, but if wants to go to the paddock he will be on the first float out."
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $1 million Gr1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) for 3YOs to be run at Caulfield racecourse on Saturday. Heading the market is Godolphin's last-start Gr2 Stan Fox Stakes winner Impending at $4.40, ahead of Stan Fox runner-up Divine Prophet at $4.80, Gr1-winning Kiwi gelding Sacred Elixir at $6.50, Good Standing at $8.50, and the Gai Waterhouse-trained Evacuation at $9. All other runners are available at double figure odds. The Caulfield Guineas is renowned as one of Australia's pre-eminent sire-making races having produced numerous top-class stallions including Starspangledbanner (2009), Lonhro (2001), Show A Heart (2000), and Redoute's Choice (1999), while recent winners Helmet (2011), All Too Hard (2012), Shooting To Win (2014) and Press Statement (2015) are showing all the signs of continuing that proud tradition. The final field is:
1. SACRED ELIXIR (Tony Pike-Damian Lane) 56.5kg (7)
2. IMPENDING (John O'Shea-James McDonald) 56.5kg (10)
3. GOOD STANDING (James Cummings-Hugh Bowman) 56.5kg (11)
4. DIVINE PROPHET (Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-D Dunn) 56.5kg (1)
5. HEY DOC (Tony McEvoy-Luke Currie) 56.5kg (13)
6. SARACINO (Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman-Damien Oliver) 56.5kg (4)
7. SEABURGE (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig-Mark Zahra) 56.5kg (9)
8. REVOLVING DOOR (Clinton McDonald-Corey Brown) 56.5kg (8)
9. WAZZENME (Stuart Webb-Luke Nolen) 56.5kg (5)
10. EVACUATION (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-Kerrin McEvoy) 56.5kg (3)
11. LAND OF PLENTY (Mick Price-Craig Newitt) 56.5kg (14)
12. KACHING (Ciaron Maher-Nicholas Hall) 56.5kg (6)
13. SO SI BON (Robbie Laing-Michael Dee) 56.5kg (12)
14. BARBIE'S BOY (Louise Bonella-Daniel Stackhouse) 56.5kg (2)
At Moonee Valley in Melbourne, Jindera Park's Gr1-winning stallion Duporth (Red Ransom-Staging, by Success Express) added a Group success when 3YO gelding Hey Doc (Duporth-Heyington Honey, by General Nediym) scored by 1.5 lengths for trainer Tony McEvoy in the $200,000 Gr2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) for 3YOs, over 3YO colts Land Of Plenty (Stratum-Dancing, by Spectrum) & Kaching (So You Think-Sun Song, by Desert Sun). This was a maiden stakes victory for Hey Doc who improved his record to 4 wins and 1 placing from 7 starts for $294,900 earnings. Hey Doc was a $85,000 purchase for McEvoy Mitchell Racing at the 2015 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Rosemont Stud.