Tony McEvoy will make sure he has some room in the trophy cabinet after the victory of Hey Doc in the CS Hayes Stakes at Flemington.
Hey Doc’s win in Saturday’s Group Three race was a special one for McEvoy who worked at Lindsay Park for almost 40 years, firstly as an apprentice with the late Colin Hayes.
McEvoy took over as head trainer at Lindsay Park following the death of Peter Hayes in a plane accident in 2001 while David Hayes continued training in Hong Kong.
Originally called the Debonair Stakes, the race was renamed the C S Hayes Stakes in 2008 and has been eagerly sought after by Lindsay Park since.
McEvoy left the stable in 2011 to begin training in his own right.
“This is a very special win,” McEvoy said.
“The Hayes family are very dear to me and this will go on the mantle for sure.
“C S treated me like a son.”
Sent out the $3.70 favourite, Hey Doc was given a perfect ride by Luke Currie before scoring by 1-1/2 lengths from Malaise ($18) with Land Of Plenty ($9.50) a short neck away third.
Hey Doc will now be given his chance at Group One level in the Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 4.
“That was his first time at 1400 metres today and he looks a proper 1400 metre horse the way he travelled and quickened,” McEvoy said.
McEvoy said bad barriers had thwarted Hey Doc’s attempts at 1600m previously but Currie had no doubt’s he would handle the trip.
“He had them covered a long way out today,” Currie said.
“He doesn’t have a long sustained run but he’s got a bit of brilliance.
“If he can settle not far off them at the mile, his turn of foot is pretty good.”