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Flemington

Tony McEvoy has unearthed another promising three year old in the form of Azazel, who put paid to the opposition in the VRC Members Pavilion Handicap.

First up since February, with natural improvement, he will be a force to be reckoned with when the major stakes races come along for three year olds in the spring.

The benefit of that trial down the straight improved his manners a lot, he raced true and had the race well and truly parcelled up when the horses reached the distance.

Whilst he has only won the one race in the spring at Moonee Valley, he has been competitive in his previous four starts as he did have the form line coming into the race.

“I think we will see the best of him when he sets over 1400 metres, he is not really a speed horse, “said Tony McEvoy.

The combination of Tony McEvoy, as trainer, and jockey, Luke Currie, is really firing up well, they are looking forward to a successful spring.

Azazel is by the leading sire for the 2016-2017 season, Snitzel, with 159 winners, with progeny earnings of $16,220,135, and is already away to a brilliant beginning again, besides Azazel, Steyne, Faerie Whisper and Special Diva.

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Azazel returns to scale  

First starter, Frankel My Dear, came in for quite some attention in the post parade, as he is by the outstanding race horse of our time, the unbeaten Frankel.

He had some backing opening up at $14.00 and finishing at $7.50, it was quite an impressive run, he can only improve on that.

There is a definite future for the son of Frankel, he is quite an impressive colt, he cost $500,000 as a yearling and with what we have seen he will prove a sound investment.

He is a big strong colt that will improve with racing, the Derby may not be flying too high for him.

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Frankel My Dear 

Nick Williams couldn’t be drawn into discussions about the Melbourne Cup after the win of Aloft in The Nursery Handicap, except to say, “it’s too early yet.”

The gelding at least has got the right pedigree, being by Galileo out of a Storm Cat mare, his only second win since coming from the U K, he has been lightly raced having raced 10 times for four wins, two of those wins have been at Flemington.

Once Nick Williams wins a race at Flemington, first thoughts lead to the Melbourne Cup, sure they have won a few, four in fact, but they have been to the well many times.

Nick said, “it is a winter meeting, there is still a long way to go, obviously we are very happy with his return, he was right up there on the speed, it was a great ride by Bennie”.

“He rode him beautifully, he is a horse obviously with some ability, it is now onwards and upwards, we will have another run in a month, we like to have our horses nice and fit ticking over, that is about the plan, we will have plenty of options,” he added

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Ben Melham and Nick Williams after the win

Steven Smillie was stand in stable representative for Brent Stanley in the win of Red Alto in The Stayers Lounge Handicap.

The gelding blew like a north wind; he opened up at $15.00 and finished up at $21.00, with very few takers.

Red Alto was bred and sold as a yearling by Fairways Stud, included in the draft the previous year was Winx.

The gelding was tried as a stayer and failed; he obviously has thrown to the dam, La Sangre, as he is by High Chaparral.

The favourite, Hay Bale, was a little disappointing; he led on the grandstand side of the course but failed to run on.

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Apprentice jockey Jordan Turner and Steven Smillie

Strength prevailed, that was the telling factor in the win of Yogi, the favourite in 1 Oliver St Plate at Flemington.

Johnny Allen, who mixes riding on the flat and jumps riding, got the favourite over the line with sheer desperation; he is an important cog in the Weir machinery.

It is quite common for recognised jumps jockeys to ride on the flat as well, provided they could make the weight.

Hughie Cairns, a New Zealander, was a great exponent of mixing both, he won the Grand National Hurdle in 1917 on Maranqua, and the Melbourne Cup in 1926 on Spearfelt, in the intervening years he rode Heroic in 16 of his 21 wins.

Cairns was killed instantly in a fall from Quick Deal in the Federal Hurdle, in front of the grandstand at Moonee Valley in 1929.

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The versatile John Allen

 

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