Sky Raider well but a heavy track a Rosehill query

By: Chris Bassani
December 9th, 2011
Breaking News

Have horse will travel and when it is the astute Tony McEvoy on the move punters should take note.

The leading Adelaide trainer is in Sydney with underrated stayer Sky Raider.

It will contest theĀ  $70,000 Exponet Handicap (1900m) at Rosehill on a heavy track tomorrow.

A winner of six of 12 starts, including four of five this season, Sky Raider will be having his first start the clockwise direction and second start on a heavy track.

The Kildalton Park trainer has been in Sydney since Tuesday overseeing its preparation.

It was only in October that the Reset gelding won the unheralded Jamestown Cup but his progression has been steady and impressive.

In three starts since he won twice at Morphettville and was unlucky not to have added a third there when having to switch over heels in the straight.

“NSW obviously don’t rate the Jamestown Cup as he only got a rating of 77 over here,” McEvoy said about his galloper who has been allotted 56.5kg for tomorrow’s race.

“I thought he’d get about 60kg as he’s a 84 rating at home, so I’m pleasantly surprised.

“He’s got a good culture this horse – he’s won six of 12 – and for a genuine, in-form horse who only ever seems to do his best I was happy to bring him over.

McEvoy has bigger aims for Sky Raider.

He is targeting the $250,000 Magic Millions Stayers Cup (1800m) at the Gold Coast on January 14.

“You don’t really know until raceday if they can handle the clockwise way of going but he has been working every day at home on his ‘Sydney’ leg since I made the decision to head to the Gold Coast,” McEvoy said.

Bookmakers have Sky Raider at $4.40 to win but punters need to be wary.

The four-year-old finished last at his only try on a heavy track.

It came on debut at Sale when ridden by Matt Pumpa and trained by David Hayes.

While the 1413m distance that day was probably too short, Pumpa reported to stewards that Sky Raider didn’t handle the heavy conditions.

“He’s a totally different horse now,” McEvoy said.

“He ran second in both runs for me on a dead track so I don’t think it’s a big issue but you don’t know until they try.”

McEvoy has engaged gun apprentice Chad Schofield for the ride.

“I’ve got a lot of time and respect for his father Glyn and I was delighted to get Chad,” McEvoy said.

“He’s the hottest property in Sydney at the moment.

“He out-rode his claim on Wednesday but thankfully I already had him booked in so he can claim all three kilos.”

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