Hey Doc is putting his hand up to be Tony McEvoy’s next stable star and can go a long way towards that goal in the $1 million Caulfield Guineas.
The trainer had hoped Alpine Eagle would be a big-race player this spring but the five-year-old has likely run his last race.
McEvoy said Alpine Eagle’s owner Wolf Blass told him he did not want to run the horse again after three unplaced runs this campaign and had some offers on the table from a stud.
“He’s certainly in the paddock, I know that, and that’s what Wolf said to me, he didn’t want to race him anymore,” McEvoy said.
As for Hey Doc being a potential star, McEvoy said the three-year-old was “putting his vote in” with his spring performances.
“I’ve got Don’t Doubt Mamma of course, but she and this horse have been flying the flag very well for the stable,” the trainer said.
Don’t Doubt Mamma has won back-to-back Group Two races this spring.
Hey Doc is unbeaten this campaign, beginning with a benchmark race at Sandown before two victories at Moonee Valley including last Friday night’s Group Two Stutt Stakes.
He has won his way to a shot at Saturday’s Group One Caulfield Guineas (1600m).
“That’s exactly what he has done, because at the start of the preparation, whilst I had him nominated in the Guineas it was never really on the radar,” McEvoy said.
“I was just going to take him through and see how far he ran and see if I could get him out to a Derby trip.
“And here we are lining up in the Guineas and it’s very exciting. I’m very proud of the horse for getting us there.”
Hey Doc is at $10 with Impending ($4.50) and Divine Prophet ($5) the favourites.
McEvoy believes the market has it right as he rates the Sydney colts as the ones to beat.
“This is another level again, I fully respect that, but I think there’d be a lot of people who would like to be saddling him up in this race, the way he’s going,” McEvoy said of Hey Doc.
“I think he’s got a hope for sure.”
McEvoy admits barrier 13 is a concern though and makes things more difficult.
“We’ve just got to make a decision what we’re going to do with how we think the race will unfold,” he said.
“But If you go forward up that hill you do a lot of work. And I certainly don’t want him to be doing that.”