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Caulfield race next on Vinland’s agenda

The Tony McEvoy-trained Vinland will look to back up his last-start Sandown win at Caulfield.

A 1700-metre race at Caulfield looms as the next step for promising colt Vinland who scored a dominant win at Sandown at his most recent start.

The Tony McEvoy-trained three-year-old was eased down late to win by 1-3/4 lengths in a 1600m race against his own age on December 2 on a wet track and is nominated for Saturday’s Super Vobis BM70 Handicap for three and four-year-olds.

Two starts ago Vinland was tested in the Group Two Sandown Guineas (1600m) and he loomed up in the straight in his second start back from a lengthy break before finishing fifth.

“It was a similar run the other day at Sandown and he went on with it, just with the race experience,” McEvoy’s Melbourne stable foreman Michael Shepherdson said.

“He’s firing on all cylinders now.”

Shepherdson believes, based on his last start, Vinland should handle the extra 100m in a race which could help boost his rating ahead of the autumn.

Vinland is one of the McEvoy-trained colts expected to be aimed at the Group One Australian Guineas (1600m) during the autumn, a race the trainer won last season with Hey Doc.

“He won quite effortlessly (last start) so he pulled up amazing,” Shepherdson said.

“We’ll probably put a little bit more pressure on him this week to tighten him up and have him ready for the 1700 metres. On his win the other day, you’d think he should get it on his ear.”

Vinland raced twice as a two-year-old and then had knee surgery before resuming with a maiden win at Bendigo on November 1.

Shepherdson said McEvoy had always rated Vinland highly but said he had been mentally immature.

“He was great physically, but just immature in the head,” he said.

“Now his head has caught up with his body.”

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