Tony McEvoy has turned his attention to some of the feature summer/autumn feature sprints with Hey Doc in light of the tenacious gelding’s Winterbottom Stakes win.
The six-year-old won of Duporth collected a third Group 1 success when he led all the way to win the $1 million event over 1200 metres.
It was just the second start of the preparation for the horse who has previously won the Australian Guineas and Manikato Stakes at the highest level, but McEvoy said he was now likely to target the Australia Stakes at The Valley as a lead-in to the Group 1 sprints.
“There’s not many races he can run in (soon), so I think I’ll just take him home and keep him sweet,” McEvoy, who trains in partnership with his son Calvin, said.
“There’s the Australia Stakes, a weight-for-age Group 2 at Moonee Valley at the end of January.”
Hey Doc further endeared himself to McEvoy and jockey Luke Currie with his win dominant win at $13 in the Winterbottom.
Currie sped forward from barrier 13 to take up the lead and was able to dictate proceedings to go on and score by 2.5 lengths from Vital Silver ($7), with Rock Magic ($21) close up third.
— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) November 30, 2019
A Heffernan Stakes third placing was Hey Doc’s only other start since having bone chips removed following the Bobbie Lewis Stakes in September last year and McEvoy was full of praise for the horse and everyone who has played a role in getting back after the success.
“When he broke down in the Bobbie Lewis we were pretty shattered because they’re very hard to replace, horses of his class, and once they’ve had an injury you wonder whether they will come back.
Thankfully, he’s had great recuperative powers and my team, my vets, my farriers and my staff have just done an enormous job.”
The Winterbottom Stakes was Hey Doc’s 23rd start, nine of which have been wins, for $2,387,300 in stakes.