Trainer Tony McEvoy is looking to dodge a wet track and chase the sunshine with his stable star Sunlight when she kicks off her Everest campaign on Saturday.
McEvoy has nominated Sunlight for both the Group 3 $160,000 Concorde Stakes (1200m) at Randwick and the Group 2 $200,000 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m) at The Valley and will pick at the venue that has the better track conditions on offer.
Sunlight has already secured Max Whitby’s slot for the $14m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 19 and McEvoy was keen to keep the valuable mare in Sydney in the run up to Australia’s richest race.
McEvoy, who has just announced his new training partnership with his son Calvin, threw in the extra nomination for the McEwen Stakes when the initial forecast for Sydney was for a wet lead up to the weekend.
But the forecast was subsequently changed and now Sydney looks like not receiving as much rain as anticipated while Melbourne is set for a wet weekend and not much sunshine.
“There was never any real intention of coming to Melbourne but when I saw the forecast, I panicked,” McEvoy told racing.com.
“I’d much rather throw her on a float for 10 hours and run her a on a better track than run her on a heavy so I threw her in the noms for the McEwen.
“But no sooner than I started to think about it, the forecast changed.
“It is actually going to be wetter in Melbourne than Sydney now. It’s all gone. It’s now less than a millimetre expected and it was between 20-40.”
Sunlight is one of six nominations for the Concorde Stakes while twelve entries were received for the McEwen Stakes which also includes the Chris Waller trained speedster Nature Strip who is also entered for the Concorde Stakes.
Sunlight had a stellar three year old season with a Group 1 treble split over the 2018 Melbourne Spring Carnival and the 2019 Melbourne Autumn Carnival.
She beat her own age to win the Group 1 $1m Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on day one of the 2018 Melbourne Cup Carnival and returned in the Autumn to beat the older sprinters under handicap conditions to win the Group 1 $1.25m Seppelt Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington and then made it back to back Group 1 wins with an all the way win in the weight for age Group 1 $500,000 Keogh Homes William Reid Stakes (1200m) at The Valley.
Sunlight has been marked as the $4.60 second pick behind $2.10 favourite Nature Strip at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Concorde Stakes while in the McEwen Stakes it is a similar story with Nature Strip at the top of the betting at $2.50 ahead of Sunlight at $3.40.
Early betting for the 2019 Concorde Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.10 Nature Strip, $4.60 Sunlight, $5.50 Pierata, $7 Zoustyle, $8 Graff, Redzel.
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