Blue Diamond favourite Jimando’s return to racing at Caulfield on Saturday is the first step towards Group 1 glory.
The Tony MvEvoy trained two year old was an impressive winner at his debut scoring by more than three lengths in the Inglis Debutants Stakes (1200m) back in October at Caulfield and was immediately sent to the spelling yard.
Jimando is heading the list in betting on the Group 1 $1m Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Stakes (1200) to be run at Caulfield on February 25.
The Commands colt is currently $5 ahead of $7 chance Malasun with the Gai Waterhouse trained Raceway at $7.50.
McEvoy, who is in New Zealand at the Karaka sales will have a better idea where he is at with Jimanda after Saturday but hopes he has made similar progress as some of the two year olds he beat in the Debutants.
“His form is held in quite high regard by everyone so hopefully it works out that way,” McEvoy said.
“I really hope he’s made the same progress a couple who ran behind him in the Debutant have, but there are no guarantees.”
The Travelling Man who finished fourth behind Jimando in the Debutants has resumed with a win in the Listed $100,000 Patinack Farm Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) at Caulfield on Australia Day for trainer Matt Laurie.
Melbourne Cup winning jockey Blake Shinn takes over the reins on Jimando from Nash Rawiller in the $100,000 Emirates Airline Stakes (1100m) and said he is more than happy to be on the 2yo heading towards the Blue Diamond.
“It’s my first ride on him this Saturday but he will be my Blue Diamond ride,” Shinn said.
Shinn has only recently returned from a twelve month ban for betting offences and couldn’t be happier with the way things are going on the track.
“I’m happy to be back riding and the way things have gone has exceeded all my expectations,” Shinn said.
Shinn has a couple of other good rides at Caulfield on Saturday, including Unanimously in the $100,000 United Arab Emirates Stakes (1000m) and I Think I Do in the $70,000 Nadeem Handicap (1400m) for Bart Cummings.
McEvoy who trains out of Kildalton Park, formerly part of Lindsay Park at Angaston, is having a good season and is currently heading the Adelaide trainers title with nineteen wins for the season, two ahead of his old boss David Hayes.