Trainer Tony McEvoy has revealed that promising imported galloper Martian will be ready to make his Australian racing debut in September, but he does not believe the lightly-raced stayer will be able to compete at the highest level during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Martian made his racing debut for English trainer William Haggas with a fifth place finish in a maiden at Doncaster on August 3 last year and was purchased by McEvoy after scoring two strong wins at Goodwood and Great Yarmouth towards the end of 2013.
The Duke Of Marmalade gelding was given his first taste of Australian racing when he finished third in a barrier trial over 100 meters at Morphettville on May 12 and McEvoy told Sky Racing HQ that he is looking forward to getting the four-year-old to the races.
“He looks a lovely horse and he is back in training now,” McEvoy said.
“After that trial I gave him a four week ease and he is now back galloping.
“He will be ready to race in September.
“He is a lightly-raced young horse, low-rated and he will have to earn his stripes in this country.
“To make it to the majors this year would be a bit unusual I would have thought.”
Martian is set to be joined at the races in September by another lightly-raced imported stayer in the form of Kourkam.
Kourkam performed well in four starts in France without winning in 2012 and 2013 and was purchased by McEvoy after he finished a close second in the Prix De Savigny Le Temple at Fontainbelau in May last year.
The American Post entire made his Australian debut with a narrow win in the Camp Quality Plate (1800m) at Hawkesbury on January 30 and was sent to the spelling paddock after failing to fire in the TAB Rewards Handicap (2000m) at the same venue on February 13.
McEvoy is confident that Kourkam can develop into a quality stayer, but is being patient with the four-year-old and believes that he will need another preparation in Australia before he reaches his true potential.
“I think that he has the qualifications and I really like him,” McEvoy said.
“I have gelded him now and he has grown and strengthened and done magnificently during his break.
“He is a similar style to Martian and he is now galloping and getting ready to race in September.
“I will be looking for the answers from those horses and they will tell me where they need to be placed.
“In my mindset, my job would be to get their ratings up this year and then they would be looking to have a big autumn and next spring is when they would be looking to be at their best.”