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Azazel scores on debut at Moonee Valley

Tony McEvoy won out in a yearling sale bidding war that has paid dividends with the debut win of Azazel at Moonee Valley.

A son of Snitzel, Azazel took out the Inglis Banner at Moonee Valley on Saturday under a confident ride of jockey Luke Currie.

Sent out the $5 second elect, Azazel scored by 1-3/4 lengths from Can’t Remember ($26) with Ephesian ($51) 1-1/2 lengths away third.

McEvoy revealed Sydney trainer Gerald Ryan had picked out the Snitzel colt as his favourite at the Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale earlier in the year.

A bidding duel between McEvoy and Ryan’s representative Damion Flower saw the price for the colt reach $310,000.

“Damion told me afterwards that when it went out of his range he tried ringing Gerald who was on a plane,” McEvoy said.

“When he finally got Gerald he asked how much he had to pay only to learn Tony McEvoy had bought him for $310,000.

“Damion said if he had got hold of Gerald the price would have been much more.”

McEvoy said Azazel would now head to the Maribyrnong Plate at Flemington on the final day of the four-day Melbourne Cup carnival before a spell.

“He’s a big strong boy, eats almost as much as me,” McEvoy said.

“I’m sure you’ll then see him in the autumn.”

McEvoy said he’s got a strong team of two-year-olds this year and Azazel’s victory was the trainer’s second from three starters this season.

Currie, sporting a black eye after being struck by a clod at Geelong on Wednesday, said Azazel was lost early in the race after a slow beginning and being buffeted.

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