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McEvoy gives Sunlight green light


Tony McEvoy is trusting history and his instincts this Saturday when he runs his flying Magic Millions filly Sunlight at the Gold Coast just a week out from the $2 million Classic.

McEvoy confirmed this week that the Classic’s third favourite would race over the 1200 metre course at the Gold Coast this Saturday for $60,000 and then return seven days later and do it again for $2 million.

The trainer said he has been delighted with the daughter of Zoustar since her win over 900 metres at the Gold Coast on December 23, but said he felt she had more improvement to come.

‘’She’s taken no harm from it and she bounced out of it really well but that little sweeten-up (rest) I gave her, she just did a little too well on me and I’m sure she needs another race,’’ McEvoy said.

McEvoy conceded that backing up precocious two-year-olds from one week to the next might be a gamble but he said he felt the filly had the right make-up to handle it.

History also suggests the feat can be done with three of the past five winners - Houtzen 2017, Le Chef 2015 and Real Surreal in 2013 - all racing and winning a week before the Classic.

‘’Running seven days out from the grand final, there’s always risks involved with any horse doing that but she’s a gross-doing filly and she’s very sound,’’ McEvoy said.

‘’She needs another run before she gets to the pressure cooker of the Magic Millions so I am looking forward to the Gold Coast on Saturday

‘’Certainly if I was worried, I wouldn’t be doing it, but everything I’ve asked her to do all the way through she’s handled with ease and wants more.’’

Sunlight is ranked third in Classic betting at around $7 behind the favourites Jonker and Ef Troop. Neither of those Spirit Of Boom youngsters will run again before the Classic.

McEvoy said there are more than physical benefits awaiting Sunlight out of Saturday’s race.

‘’She’d had the one look at the track, she’ll have another look at the track and she’ll be like a local by the time the final comes around,’’ he said.

The trainer has not given up hope his All American colt Crockett of racing in the Classic despite a less than encouraging effort last week when seventh in the McLachlan Stakes at Doomben.

‘’I am going up there (Gold Coast) tomorrow to have a look at him,’’ McEvoy said.

‘’He was very disappointing on Saturday. He had a horrible run in the race but was also very plain.

‘’That’s not him. I know he’s a better horse than that and I’ll have a look at him and if he’s fine, he’ll definitely press on.’’
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