Tony McEvoy is chasing his first Group One win as a co-trainer with his son Calvin at Caulfield.
After two inconclusive attempts over 1400m at the top level, Despatch gets another opportunity to prove himself over the distance in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes when he chases his second Group One victory.
Last season’s Goodwood winner runs third-up from a break in Saturday’s Sir Rupert Clarke at Caulfield where he is a chance to give his co-trainer Calvin McEvoy his first Group One win.
McEvoy’s father, prominent trainer Tony McEvoy, promoted his son with the formation of the training partnership early this month.
Despatch finished fourth first-up from a let-up in the Group Three Spring Stakes over 1200m last month before battling on for fifth in the weight-for-age Group One Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, won by Scales Of Justice.
“We are not really sure whether he is going to run a strong 1400 metres,” Calvin McEvoy said.
“We took him up to Brisbane to run in the Stradbroke over 1400 metres last season and he just had no luck from barrier one and never really got a crack at them.”
McEvoy said Despatch got tired late in the Spring Stakes and while he thought he ran really well in the Memsie in his second attempt at 1400m, he believes the gelding also knocked up late after racing up on a strong tempo set by Rupert Clarke favourite Begood Toya Mother.
“Third-up now, again at 1400 I think he’s going to be at peak fitness,” McEvoy said.
“And I think on Saturday we’ll really learn whether he does run a strong 1400 or whether we bring him back to the sprint trips as he’s obviously a Group One winner at 1200.”
Begood Toya Mother, who drops to the minimum 52kg after his sixth in the Memsie, was $3.70 favourite on Wednesday in the field of 15 after drawing barrier three while Thousand Guineas winner Amphitrite, who has 54kg, was next at $7.
Despatch has 57kg and barrier nine and was rated a $12 chance.
The McEvoy stable went close to winning the race last year when Dollar For Dollar carried 53kg and went down narrowly to international visitor Jungle Cat.
“Despatch has got the Group One win next to his name so he’s going to carry a bit more weight but he’s a big, strong, tough horse,” McEvoy said.
“It’s a very interesting race because it brings those lightly weighted horses right into it.”