In a training triumph for the McEvoy stable, Hey Doc has led all the way to win the Group One Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot in Perth.
After more than a year off recovering from injury, Hey Doc returned with a close third in a Group Three race at Sandown earlier this month.
A dual Group One winner for Tony McEvoy, Hey Doc’s win in Saturday’s 1200m-feature was a first for the trainer’s new partner, his son Calvin.
While Tony McEvoy had some concerns earlier in the week when Hey Doc ($13) drew the second widest barrier, jockey Luke Currie handled the situation with aplomb, easing Hey Doc over to take the lead and assume control of the race.
He held his position with Vital Silver ($7) getting closest, running 2-1/2 lengths second and veteran Rock Magic ($31) third, another long neck away.
“I definitely wold have liked to have drawn inside a few,” Currie told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“When I got over I never felt I was going to get beaten. He did it nice and easy in front.
“He is a special horse to me. He cemented my relationship with Tony McEvoy which has been the difference in my career and congratulations to Calvin on his first Group One.”
Calvin McEvoy was looking after the stable’s runners in Melbourne but his father was on hand for the win.
“It’s very special,” Tony McEvoy said.
“Calvin was working in Melbourne today but this will be the first of many Group Ones.
“It’s been five months work to get Hey Doc back and I’ve seen improvement in him from there (Sandown) to here.”
McEvoy said when Hey Doc was not ready in time for the VRC Sprint on November 9, the Winterbottom became the Group One target.
Favourite Trekking ($2.90) ran fourth while three-year-old Dubious was sixth of the 14 runners.