Trainer Tony McEvoy’s gamble to spend up on yearlings has paid early dividends and now the strong crop of two-year-olds is heading north in search of more success.
The first of the stable’s raiders will be Illumicon who is set to debut in Saturday’s Golden Gift (1100m) at Rosehill.
McEvoy has trained four two-year-old winners this season including Despatch, headed a one-two with stablemate Nistaan in Saturday’s Ballarat Magic Millions Clockwise Classic, and the Group Three Maribyrnong Plate with Aspect on November 5.
“I’m very proud of my two-year-olds,” McEvoy said.
The strong brigade of young horses coming from Angaston and Flemington is no fluke.
“I was buying some really lovely horses but they weren’t good enough when it came down to it and I knew I had to buy better quality,” McEvoy said.
“We went with a plan this year and bought some absolutely outstanding horses.
“We spent a lot of money but we’re getting the rewards.”
Illumicon finished second in a barrier trial behind Despatch at Morphettville on October 24.
“When Despatch came out and won I thought well ‘that’s good enough to run in a race in Sydney on Saturday’,” McEvoy said.
After a jump-out at Ballarat, McEvoy decided to wait for Saturday’s $150,000 race with his nephew, Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy, will ride.
“He just didn’t pull up ready and that’s why I didn’t run him at Ballarat,” he said.
McEvoy is likely to split Despatch and Nistaan between the Magic Millions race at Wyong on December 22 and a Brisbane metropolitan race en route to the Magic Millions 2YO Classic on the Gold Coast, the race Illumicon is also targeting.
TONY McEVOY’S TRAVELLING 2YO BRIGADE
Set to debut in Saturday’s Golden Gift at Rosehill. On his way to the Magic Millions 2YO Classic on the Gold Coast on January 14.
* DESPATCH and NISTAAN
Finished one-two in the Ballarat Magic Millions Clockwise Classic on Saturday. One is likely to race in the Wyong Magic Millions on December 22 while the other will race in Brisbane in the lead up to the classic on the Gold Coast.
Runner-up in the Group Two Merson Cooper Stakes at Sandown on November 12. Either Wyong Magic Millions or a maiden at Canterbury en route to the Gold Coast.
Fifth in the Merson Cooper. Heading for the $500,000 Inglis Dash at Randwick on December 17.