The spring hasn’t been kind to Tony McEvoy, leaving his stable resembling an equine casualty ward rather than the one widely tipped to be a source of big-race winners.
Missing from his yard when it matters most is Alpine Eagle and Bull Point, two highly regarded horses which have succumbed to injury.
There’s also Big Memory, but McEvoy has at least managed to nurse the stayer back to fitness after an early setback.
Amid the wreckage, Scherzoso has been the one constant in McEvoy’s multi-state training operation.
The restricted-class stayer has soldiered on while his better-known stablemates have fallen by the wayside.
And McEvoy is hoping Scherzoso will be rewarded for his durability in the Jaycar Electronics Handicap at Rosehill on Saturday.
“My spring has been derailed a bit with Alpine Eagle going amiss and Bull Point is another high-quality horse that I’ve lost,” McEvoy said.
“And while I’ve got Big Memory going around at Moonee Valley, I’m playing catch-up with him and that is hard to do at this time of the year.”
How McEvoy must wish his stable stars could have stood up to racing like Scherzoso, a four-year-old which lines up for the eighth time in a campaign that started in July and delivered a Morphettville victory in August.
“My only concern going into Saturday is how far we’ve gone into the prep but he’s very well,” McEvoy said.
“It’s his eighth run this prep but you wouldn’t know it. He has trained on beautifully, he’s bright, his skin’s up.”
After Scherzoso’s first two Sydney starts were in keeping with McEvoy’s run of bad luck, the four-year-old finally showed a sample of his ability with a fast-closing second to Herne’s Oak over 2000m at Randwick.
Owned by prominent syndicator OTI racing, Scherzoso needs to go one better against a similar field for McEvoy to send the horse to Melbourne for a minor race during Cup week.
“Because he is owned by OTI, it’s good for their brand to have runners at the carnival,” McEvoy said.