Trainer Tony McEvoy has in recent years been one of the biggest buyers of yearlings at the different sales around Australia.
Last year’s batch has already won McEvoy a first Magic Millions Classic when Sunlight was successful at the Gold Coast last month.
On Saturday, at Caulfield, McEvoy has three chances to land the 2018 Blue Diamond Stakes while he has two emergencies waiting in the wings should there be a race morning scratching.
The Lindsay Park-trained Ennis Hill, equal third favourite at $8, and the Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra-trained Ollivander ($31) will undergo further veterinary inspections before the 7.30 scratching deadline for the race on Saturday morning.
The two were reported to be lame following Racing Victoria vet inspections on Friday morning and underwent further tests on Friday afternoon.
The McEvoy stable has, in market order, Oohood, the $7.50 second favourite behind Long Leaf ($6.50), Kinky Boom ($9) and Run Naan ($19) with emergency acceptors Aristocratic Miss ($81) and Roobeena ($81).
“It would mean a lot to win the race,” McEvoy said.
“We’ve got five to the race, three in the field and two emergencies.
“I think that says a lot about my brand, a lot about my structure and a lot about my staff, right from education all the way through to the race.”
McEvoy believes he has three strong chances in the race and when pressed suggested Oohood was his strongest hope.
“She’s a filly that should be unbeaten in my opinion,” he said.
“She’s had the benefit of three races and she’s tough and hardened which is what you need to be in a race like this.
“We’ve done everything we can with her and if she can get the breaks when she needs them, she will be very hard to beat.”
McEvoy is slightly concerned a lack of race experience may count against Kinky Boom who scored an impressive win on debut at Caulfield on February 3.
He said the filly had undergone a rushed preparation into the Group One race.
“She hasn’t felt anything like the pressure of a Blue Diamond, but neither have any of them really,” McEvoy said.
McEvoy regards Run Naan as the sleeper of his trio in the race.
He has had the experience of four race starts, winning twice in the spring, before two pleasing runs in the Blue Diamond Preview and Preludes at Caulfield this campaign.
McEvoy has added blinkers to Run Naan’s race day gear.
“At his last start he got laid on for 600 metres and being a colt all he wanted to do was worry about the horse laying on him,” McEvoy said.
“Going into the race he’s my highest rated runner and I think that should be respected.”