There is going to be little rest for talented gelding Savatoxl for the 1600m Balaklava Cup on Wednesday, according to leading trainer Tony McEvoy.
Savatoxl, having just his second start outside the Northern Territory and first for his new stable, must overcome the challenge of coming from the outside gate of 20 and McEvoy confesses it has made the job a “bit tough” for the five-year old.
“The one blessing at Balaklava is there is quite a run of 600m (to the turn) to make up your mind,” McEvoy said.
“He will have to do it at both ends, there won’t be much rest for him.
“Another hurdle for him to overcome is he has been once on the turf and ran last, the rest of his form has been on dirt.”
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Savatoxl has won 12 of his 18 starts on the NT dirt tracks.
His other run was in a Group 3 event over 1400m at Eagle Farm in May last year.
However, he was superb in winning a 1000m trial at Gawler on February 4 when ridden by Jason Holder, who has retained the ride for the cup.
“The trial was good, he was sharp,” McEvoy said.
“But that was a trial, not a race.”
Savatoxl in action. Picture: Caroline CamilleriSource:Supplied
Logic would suggest Winning Partner is the best hope of success of the five McEvoy runners, given stable jockey Barend Vorster has opted to ride him in preference to Savatoxl, Fox Hall, East Indiaman and Blow Torch.
The gelding was runner-up at Moonee Valley and Flemington, before finished fifth on a heavy track at Moonee Valley on August 22.
“Winning Partner has been racing superbly this preparation and his only blemish was in a heavy 1200m at Moonee Valley,” McEvoy said.
“They called the meeting off after his race.
“I’m pleased with all my group.”
Savatoxl, Winning Partner and East Indiaman share early favouritism in an open betting race.
Meanwhile, Goolwa-trained Behemoth is the clear favourite for the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday following the scratching of West Australian galloper Showmanship because of a tendon issue.
Behemoth will chase a second successive Group 1 triumph, having scored an emphatic win in the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield on August 29.
Sky Racing Update: 15th September 2020
Sky Racing Update: 15th September 2020.
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Originally published asMcEvoy hopeful must overcome wide barrier for Cup win
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