By Ray Hickson
Kerrin McEvoy isn’t the type to stew too much over unlucky defeats but he’s looking forward to the chance to put promising four-year-old All Time Legend back on top at Randwick on Saturday.
There’s no two ways about it, the gelding should have won when he last appeared on January 23 and McEvoy is adamant he would have won had a gap opened for him a little earlier than at the 100m mark.
Any plan McEvoy might have been concocting for the Agency Real Estate Mile (1600m) went out the window when expected leader Quackerjack was scratched so he said he’ll likely look to control his own destiny from the outside alley.
“He’s a horse that’s coming off an unlucky defeat but he has a bit of speed,’’ McEvoy said.
“You’ve just got to move on, it happens from time to time. It’s unfortunate but we still have a horse to play with.
“The way it sets up it looks as though we are the leader in the race so I’ll probably have to ride him accordingly.
“We’ll assess it as it’s unfolding and adapt to the situation.”
Even though All Time Legend didn’t get a clear run at them until about 100m out he still clocked the fastest last 200m of the race, 11.64 (Punter’s Intelligence), under the 59kg to run a close third behind Soldier Of Love.
McEvoy said the gelding, who naturally carries the colours of TAB Everest winner Classique Legend, has come through the run very well and added he bounced off the track on Tuesday and Thursday morning so is confident he has a happy horse.
He drops to 53kg for Saturday’s assignment and while it seems unlikely trainer Les Bridge will push him towards some of the better races in the autumn the race could be a precursor to an Epsom Handicap in later in the year.
“I know that Les is in no real rush this prep but I think come spring time he might be aimed at some nicer mile races,’’ he said.
“You’d like to think Saturday is going to have him stepping in that direction.
“I’m looking forward to getting him into the race with a light weight and I’m expecting him to perform well.”
The barrier gods haven’t helped McEvoy’s chances on well related filly Nice For What in the $2m Inglis Millennium (1100m) but he says the half-sister to dual Group 1 winner Montefilia shouldn’t be counted out.
Nice For What, trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, charged to the line for a narrow defeat behind Dosh on debut at Flemington in the spring and her recent Sydney trial was given the thumbs up by McEvoy.
“We ended up getting to the barriers last and got the outside gate,’’ he said.
“The stable just wanted her to switch off so I rode her quiet early to have her hitting the line, going through her gears, and that’s what she did. She’s not an overly big filly but she knows her job.”
All Time Legend runs third at Randwick on January 23
With a question mark over whether stablemate Sneaky Five will take her place, Nice For What was an $11 chance with TAB on Thursday.
In an ideal world there’ll be a speed battle up front in the early stages, with odds-on favourite Profiteer getting a hard time, and McEvoy said any scenario like that would aid his chances.
“If she can get an ounce of luck early we can be running on very strong late,’’ he said.
“You’d like to think there will be pressure and you get confidence out of the fact the form has held up with Dosh winning again.”
Kerrin McEvoy on Retrieval (Lonhro Plate): “He’s a nice style of horse, I think he is going to be suited by a bit further eventually than the 1000m. He’s been trialling nicely so I’d expect him to be running on strongly and doing his best work over the last furlong.”
On Rocketing By (Inglis Sprint): “He was pretty good winning the other day, he was the last one standing. He was getting a lovely restful run in that race and produced at the right time. He’s in good form, it’s a good race and there’s plenty of quality so he’s going to have to step up but who’s to say he can’t.”