Things did not pan out how Tony McEvoy thought they might with Vinland’s debut but the colt’s recent barrier trial win in Sydney has buoyed the trainer’s confidence for the Inglis Nursery.
The two-year-old confirmed his place in Saturday’s $500,000 Inglis Nursery (1000m) at Randwick after impressing McEvoy in a trial at Rosehill last Tuesday when he won by more than three lengths.
“He did in his trial what I thought he would do in the Merson Cooper,” McEvoy said.
Vinland made his debut in last month’s Merson Cooper Stakes at Sandown and came from back in the field to run fifth.
“I was pretty confident going into the Merson Cooper and he just didn’t begin well and then he got squeezed out and made too many mistakes,” the trainer said.
“And at that level you can’t make mistakes. He still ran very solid, but the trial confirmed to me that he’s a nice horse.”
McEvoy has already had five juvenile winners this season and said Saturday’s rich sales-restricted race had always been the plan for Vinland who will be ridden by Hugh Bowman.
“He has come through the trial beautifully,” McEvoy said.
“It has brought him on really nicely. I’m very happy and it was good to see that horse come out and win that he beat in the trial.”
The Gerald Ryan-trained Chauffeur, a $1.6 million yearling, finished second in last Tuesday’s trial before winning on debut at Rosehill on Saturday.
While the Inglis Nursery is the richest race on Saturday’s program, the $250,000 Group Two Villiers Stakes (1600m) is the feature and McEvoy has Big Memory heading to the race.
Big Memory hasn’t started since being withdrawn from the Caulfield Cup in October but trialled last Tuesday in preparation for his shot at The Villiers.
“I had to scratch him the day before the Caulfield Cup when he injured his hock,” McEvoy said.
“It took a while to get that right but it seems right now and he trialled well.
“He’ll run a solid race and he’s got a good record at a mile.”
Tommy Berry, the last jockey to win on Big Memory in the 2014 Herbert Power Stakes, will be reunited with the gelding for the first time in more than two years on Saturday.