McEvoy expects 1600m to suit Azazel

A crack at the Caulfield Guineas remains firmly on the radar for Azazel and trainer Tony McEvoy is excited to see the colt step up in distance in the Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley.

McEvoy already has the reigning Caulfield Guineas favourite Royal Symphony in his stable and the unbeaten colt will again put his credentials on show at Caulfield on Sunday, 13 days before the $2 million 1600m race.

Azazel gets his opportunity to press his own Guineas claims when he steps up to 1600m for the first time in the Group Two Stutt Stakes on Friday night, a race the trainer won with Hey Doc last year.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing him at the mile,” McEvoy said.

“I’ve had the Guineas on my mind all the way through with him. Whilst he has won the two races and they’ve only been smaller races, he’s been very competitive in the better races and I believe they just haven’t been quite at the right trip.

“So he gets his chance on Friday night and it’s the path that Hey Doc took into the Guineas last year and he ran third.”

Azazel won at Moonee Valley on debut last October over 1000m and his only other win in seven starts was first-up over 1000m in a three-year-old handicap at Flemington on August 5.

Since then Azazel has finished fourth in the McKenzie Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley and seventh in the Group Two Danehill Stakes (1200m) at Flemington.

“His pedigree has said he shouldn’t be a sprinter even though he’s by the great Snitzel,” McEvoy said.

“I thought his run in the Danehill was fantastic. His last 100 metres was superb. He was really getting warmed up late so I think the mile is what he needs now.”

McEvoy took Azazel to Moonee Valley on Monday morning when he was paired with stablemate Overexposure in a pleasing hit-out.

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