Trainer Tony McEvoy has scored his biggest success since stepping away from David Hayes’ Lindsay Park operation with Jimando winning in dashing fashion in the Listed Debutants Stakes at Caulfield.
The two-year-old son of Commands was heavily backed from $21 to $13 and excited McEvoy with his explosive turn of foot to score an empathic 3-1/4 length victory at his debut in Wednesday’s feature.
Favourite Princeton Miss ($3.10), a daughter of Not A Single Doubt trained by Robbie Griffiths, finished second and the Peter Moody-trained Exceed And Excel colt Planet Voyage ($7) was a long neck away third.
McEvoy bought Jimando for $50,000 at the Gold Coast Magic Millions Premier Sale, less than Commands’ service fee, and thought he wouldn’t race until he was a three-year-old.
“I never had any intentions of running him at two but funny things happen with horses,” McEvoy said.
“He kept telling me to take him to the races and he really impressed me today.
“That’s the best he’s ever gone so it’s nice that he saves it for race day.”
McEvoy has been training on his own since August last year.
Together with Yarrawonga businessman Wayne Mitchell, he operates the 93-hectare Kildalton Park at Angaston in South Australia which was formerly known as Raceside and formed part of the late Colin Hayes’ Lindsay Park Stud complex.
McEvoy had worked at the property for 33 years and was head trainer from 2001 to 2005, winning a Cox Plate with Fields Of Omagh in that period, and was Melbourne’s premier trainer in the 2002/03 season.
Going out by himself was a new challenge but one McEvoy chose and is enjoying after David Hayes relocated his training operation to Euroa.
“We have been going for just over a year and (winning) this is so important for my business,” McEvoy said.
“It is my biggest win.
“The horses have been racing superbly and it is very important that my two-year-olds come through and bolster my stocks to give me some horses that can play at this sort of level.”
McEvoy’s first two-year-old runner for this season finished second in Adelaide last Saturday.
He said Jimando would contest the Group Three Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) at Flemington on November 5 before deciding whether to freshen him for the Magic Millions.
In the meantime he hopes to have a two-year-old runner in the Inglis Banner (1000m) at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate day.
“He is by Sequalo and while he has not been beating this horse (Jimando) he has been getting around the mark,” McEvoy said.