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Hey Doc has returned to work after a spell and will be given a slow build-up before the spring

Hey Doc has returned to work after a spell and will be given a slow build-up before the three-time Group One winner is locked into spring targets.

Six-year-old Hey Doc has not started since unplaced in the Group One CF Orr Stakes in early February.

“He only came back into work last week so he’s just settling in,” Calvin McEvoy said.

Hey Doc returned as the stable farewelled outstanding mare Sunlight.

Sunlight, winner of 11 of her 24 starts and more than $6.5 million prize money, has been been retired following unplaced runs in two Adelaide Group One races this month.

“We’re just going to take it very slowly with him and see how he comes up. He’s a horse who puts on a lot of weight throughout a spell,” McEvoy said.

Hey Doc spent more than a year off the scene but returned late last spring after joint surgery and in his second start back won the Group One Winterbottom Stakes in Perth.

The Winterbottom was Hey Doc’s third Group One following success in the Australian Guineas and Manikato Stakes in 2017.

After the Winterbottom, Hey Doc was runner-up in the Australia Stakes in January before failing in the Orr at Caulfield over 1400m.

“He was disappointing in the Orr and came out of that race with no real problems but he just jarred up on a joint and that was the same joint that he had previously had surgery on,” McEvoy said.

“We treated it very cautiously and just decided to stop.

“He had done such a superb job coming back from injury to win another Group One and we just decided to stop and let everything settle down and give him a break.”

McEvoy said there was no target for Hey Doc yet and they would be guided by how long the sprinter takes to come up.

“We’ll certainly take our time and there’s no plans yet,” he said.

“We’ve given him enough time to be back and have him ready for the spring, we believe.”

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