A lot can hinge on the barrier draw for a big race.
While Mick Price has two of the leading hopes in Saturday’s Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield – Extreme Choice and Flying Artie – both have drawn double digit barriers while his third string runner China Dream has also drawn wide.
On the other hand, Tony McEvoy will saddle up two runners who have inside gates.
Concealer is regarded as the best chance of his duo from barrier six, a draw that has delighted her trainer.
Punters are also warming to her prospects and the filly has been one of the best supported runners since Tuesday’s barrier draw, sharing the third line of betting.
“I was pretty happy when I heard that,” McEvoy said of Concealer’s draw.
“There’s certainly no complaints from my end.”
A debut winner at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup carnival, Concealer resumed with a closing second to Samara Dancer in the fillies’ division of the Blue Diamond Prelude.
She drew poorly in that race and settled last in the run before charging home.
“It wasn’t the plan to get that far back last time,” McEvoy said.
“She just stepped a bit slow so with a better beginning I think she can sit in the middle somewhere.”
McEvoy said Concealer’s trackwork since the Prelude had been strong and the juvenile would head into Saturday’s race in peak condition.
“Her fitness has come up for sure,” he said.
McEvoy will also start $81 chance Hey Doc who has gate four in the $1.5 million feature.
The colt was an eye-catching fourth behind Valliano in the Inglis Premier at Caulfield on February 6 and McEvoy has made two gear changes, adding blinkers and a tongue tie for Saturday’s race.
“He wobbled a bit around the turn at Caulfield but I thought he ran very competitively and I think the blinkers will help him,” McEvoy said.
“It’s a different level for him and he’s got to come up a notch but he’s in the race and I’m excited to have him there.”
McEvoy has called on the services of New Zealand jockey Opie Bosson to partner Hey Doc and says Bosson’s aggressive riding style will suit the colt who came from the second half of the field at his latest outing.
“He won’t be too far off them with the blinkers on,” McEvoy said.