Trainer Tony McEvoy admits that Hey Doc’s task has been made even harder after drawing a horror barrier in the Group 1 $1m Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on Saturday.
McEvoy was already going into Saturday’s Group 1 assignment with Hey Doc with some reservations but after drawing barrier twenty-one in the twenty horse field plus three emergencies, his hopes dropped considerably.
Even though the three year old wasn’t well weighted against the well performed older sprinters and his 1200m form wasn’t the best, McEvoy knew that Hey Doc was going well enough on the tracks to warrant consideration of taking on a tough Group 1 field.
But Hey Doc will now have to put in a super effort if he is going to win another Group 1 trophy to add to the silverware he collected in beating his own age group in the Group 1 $750,000 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington during the 2017 Melbourne Autumn Carnival.
“Since the barrier draw I’ve been in a filthy mood. I haven’t cooled down yet,” McEvoy told the Herald Sun.
“I would think his 1200m form isn’t good enough and then there’s the weight scale where three-year-olds have to carry 57 kilos, which makes things hard. I thought he faced a tough job and after the barrier draw that’s only further cemented that thought going into the race.”
Hey Doc had one more run after the Australian Guineas when he was caught wide when ninth to It’s Somewhat in the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 1.
McEvoy said that Hey Doc didn’t have a lot of luck on the heavy track in the Doncaster Mile and that he wasn’t that disappointed with the run.
“It wasn’t that bad a run,” McEvoy said.
“He was five wide throughout without any cover and he was on a heavy track which he wasn’t comfortable on.
“He’s freshened up really well and his work was sharp at the farm and he had a gallop between races at Morphettville last Saturday which was pleasing.”
Hey Doc will jump from barrier nineteen in the final twenty horse field if all three emergencies fail to gain a start and will be ridden again by Luke Currie who was aboard for his Australian Guineas win.
The horror barrier has seen Hey Doc’s price at Ladbrokes.com.au blow out from $15 to $20 while Black Heart Bart remains the favourite at $3.50 to win back to back Goodwoods.
The Darren Weir trained Black Heart Bart drew nicely at barrier two while $6.50 second favourite Vega Magic also drew in close at gate six.