If you look at the form card of VRC St Leger contender Antipas you could be excused for thinking he is getting ready for a jumps career.
But that is the furthest thing from trainer Tony McEvoy’s mind ahead of the three-year-old’s run in the 2800m-Listed race on Wednesday at Flemington.
McEvoy has schooled Antipas twice in the past month.
He schooled at Oakbank before winning at that track during the Easter carnival and most recently at Cranbourne last week.
“He’s such a lazy fella at home so I use the jumps a lot to stimulate him,” McEvoy said.
“I trialled him at Oakbank before he won there and I thought I’d do the same before this race so I took him to Cranbourne and let him have a cruise around.”
While McEvoy might not have intentions to jump Antipas he considers him a promising stayer despite being bred on sprinting lines.
And while the 2800m on Wednesday remains a query, McEvoys says it will also be a question mark for most of his rivals.
What puts McEvoy’s mind at ease is those to have ridden Antipas all say he wants ground.
“Jamie Kah tells me the further the better,” McEvoy said.
“He hasn’t got a stayers ‘pedigree at all, a sprinter’s pedigree if anything, but I’ve trained him on hard for it and he’s handled the training well.
“The distance is a query for me but he’s very fit, very sound and there’s no better way to find out than to put him in it.”
McEvoy says he will be guided by how Antipas performs on Wednesday as to whether he will return to Adelaide for the South Australian Derby on May 12.
“I thought I’d take him over there, have a look at him against these horses and then cruise back into Adelaide if he ran well enough,” McEvoy said.
“He’s had a beautiful prep for a staying race and most importantly he’s thrived on the preparation.”
Antipas is at $21 in latest betting with the James Cummings-trained Godolphin entry Astoria the $2.10 favourite.
Cummings is chasing his first win in the St Leger, a race his grandfather Bart Cummings won a record seven times.
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