Although thrilled with a winning double at Rosehill, dual-state trainer Tony McEvoy’s thoughts turned to the people of Adelaide who were battling fires on Saturday.
McEvoy operates stables at Hawkesbury on Sydney’s outskirts and also has a training and spelling complex at Kildalton Park, about 15km from the worst of the fires in the Adelaide Hills.
“Our place is about 15 kilometres from Kersbrook as the crow flies which is no distance at all when it come to fires,” McEvoy said.
“We evacuated about 40 horses last week from the main spelling complex and it is a worry but at the moment the northerlies are pushing the fires in the other direction.”
Shiraz and Last Wish race out of McEvoy’s Hawkesbury stable with the former passing a distance test in the De Bortoli Wines (1350m).
“This was his first try beyond 1200 metres and he ran the trip strongly so that opens up his options,” McEvoy said.
“He has another couple of races in him this preparation and then we can look at better things down the track.
Ridden by the trainer’s nephew Kerrin McEvoy, Shiraz ($5.50) put half a neck on the odds-on favourite Harrier Jet ($1.70) when it mattered with Lester’s Home ($20) running on strongly for third another three-quarters of a length away.
Last Wish ($16) underlined his staying potential with a strong win over 2400m in the benchmark 75.
With Sam Clipperton the pilot, Last Wish hit the line two lengths in front of Husson Choice ($5.50) with the favourite It’s A Silvertrail ($4) another length third.
Formerly with the late Guy Walter, Last Wish was having his third start for McEvoy and his first in blinkers.
“I think the blinkers made a difference,” McEvoy said.
“I was disappointed with his last start but Sam rode a lovely, smart and patient race.
“He was at the crossroads with me today but he has come through.”