The Pakenham Cup is on the agenda for Secret Blaze (right) after the stayer’s win at The Valley.
Secret Blaze has shown a glimpse of his toughness with a fighting win at The Valley with the Tony and Calvin McEvoy stable to consider a Pakenham Cup start with the gelding.
Covering ground over the 2040m journey of Saturday’s Kingsville Manor Lakes Handicap, Secret Blaze held off the favourite Rupture in a stirring finish.
Providing former Singapore-based South African rider Barend Vorster with his first double in Melbourne, Secret Blaze ($3.60) scored by a short-neck from Rupture ($3.10) with Danon Roman ($14) 1-1/2 lengths away third.
Calvin McEvoy said next Saturday’s Pakenham Cup (2500m) would be considered depending on how the gelding pulled-up from Saturday’s win.
“We think he’ll love the trip,” McEvoy said.
“He ran the trip in the South Australian Derby (in May), but he’s more mature and stronger now so if he recovers well we’ll give it strong consideration.”
McEvoy said Secret Blaze was sent from their Angaston property in South Australia to Flemington soon after his victory at Morphettville on November 2.
“I must say I got here a couple of days ago to the Melbourne stable and Mick (Shepherdson) and the team have done a tremendous job,” McEvoy said.
“There wouldn’t be a better looking horse in the stable at the moment. He’s so healthy and well.
“He had to do it the tough way from that barrier (11) today. Barend just took his medicine, he had confidence in the horse and kept him in a rhythm.”
Vorster made the move to Australia in February making an immediate impact winning the Group One Newmarket Handicap at Flemington the following month.
McEvoy’s Adelaide-based stable rider, Vorster took advantage of Luke Currie being in Perth to ride Hey Doc in the Group One Winterbottom Stakes.
He said landing a double at Moonee Valley, having guided Talenti to win the Strathdon Box Hill Handicap earlier in the day, was a great feeling, especially having his wife Nikki and their son Brendan in attendance.
“You can’t do it without these horses and the teams that I’m riding for, but it’s a great privilege to be here,” he said.
Vorster moves to Ballarat next year when the McEvoys’ stables are completed on-course.
“I’ll be there with Tony’s team and will ride wherever he needs me,” Vorster said.