Trainer’s one doubt on Bagot favourite
TONY McEvoy has no doubt Secret Blaze is deserving favourite for the $160,000 Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) - with a caveat.
"The 2800m is probably the only query, but he is out of a Galileo mare (Abscond) and that should help," he said.
"But he's by (sprinter) Sizzling, so I'm a little bit confused.'
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"He was strong at the end of his last start when he won (over 2500m) at Flemington. It was a soft win.
"He really was fantastic that day."
With five wins from his past eight starts, Secret Blaze has quickly developed into a formidable stayer after going 11 runs without success following victory as a two-year-old at Sandown in April, 2018.
McEvoy believes the gelding is now in such a rich vein of form, he simply has to maintain it.
"He's in really great form. I cannot fault him in any way and he's deserved favourite for the race," he said.
"All I've done is keep him there. I don't need to do much with him.
"I don't think his form has to change much, I think he's just got to hold where he's at.
"He's bright, he did some really solid staying work at Flemington on Saturday and I'd say he'd start favourite and deservingly so."
Punter confidence in Secret Blaze has seen the four-year-old firm from $2.70 into $2.60 for the Bagot, where he will be challenged by several older, more seasoned gallopers.
Among them are Sandown Cup winner Azuro ($5), Ciaron Maher and David Eustace's Wall Of Fire ($7), Chris Waller import High Bridge ($7.50) and Matt Cumani's Etah James ($8).
McEvoy and his son Calvin will unleash a four-pronged attack on the Headquarters' meeting.
Two-year-old Who Runs The World could be in line for a tilt at the $2 million Magic Millions Classic if she runs well in the Fillies Plate (1000m).
"She's a talented filly who made a lot of mistakes at Bendigo," McEvoy said.
"She missed the start and then had to go around the field to hit the front and her condition gave out late. If she gets it right, she will go well.
"If she does, she could go up for the Magic Millions (on the Gold Coast on January 1)."