Hey Doc displays his class on west coast to land second Group 1
Tony McEvoy said Hey Doc’s (Duporth) dominant Winterbottom Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m)
performance in Perth, the gelding’s second success at the highest level, was just reward for
the perseverance of connections to bring the talented sprinter back from injury.
The dual-state trainer also predicted the Group 1 win, his first training in partnership
with son Calvin, would be the first of many as he continues to build the McEvoy
Mitchell Racing brand established earlier this decade.
McEvoy senior had exuded confidence in the build up to yesterday’s race about the chances of Hey Doc,
who had returned from a long spell with a first-up third in the Kevin Heffernan
Stakes (Gr 3, 1300m) at Sandown Hillside on November 16.
Hey Doc, who has raced just four times since his 2017 Manikato Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) victory,
had bone chips removed following an unplaced run in the 2018 Bobbie Lewis Quality
(Gr 2, 1200m) at Flemington in September last year.
Ridden by Luke Currie at Ascot, Hey Doc was able to cross to the lead from barrier 13
in the field of 14 and dictate the pace of the $1 million race. He held his position with Vital
Silver (Wanted) ($7) finishing two and a half lengths second and veteran Rock Magic
(Redoute’s Choice) ($31) another long neck away in third.
“I definitely would have liked to have drawn inside a few,” Currie told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“When I got over I never felt I was going to get beaten. He did it nice and easy in front.
He is a special horse to me.
He cemented my relationship with Tony McEvoy which has been the difference in my career
and congratulations to Calvin on his first Group 1.”
McEvoy was pleased with the way Hey Doc was so easily able to gain control of the race.
“He was fabulous today and all the signs were telling us that,” McEvoy told Sky Racing.
“It has been a long campaign, about five months’ work getting him back. He was out for a long time
with his injury and then we gave him a long, slow prep back.
“He was very close at Sandown, but he wasn’t quite ‘there’ but his class got him within a neck.
To see the improvement in him physically from there to here, if I was a punter I would have had a bet.”
McEvoy said to share the win with Calvin was ‘very special’. “Cal was working in Melbourne today,
but it is so nice to have him on board with me,” McEvoy told Sky Racing.
“This will be the first of many together, I can assure you. Now he is taking ten days off and going to
Hong Kong and I am staying home working. Something’s wrong there.”
Bred by Victorian Adrian Hall, Hey Doc (6 g Duporth – Heyington Honey by General Nediym) was
sold under the Rosemont Stud banner at the 2015 Inglis Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale Book 2
session for $85,000 to McEvoy Mitchell Racing.
Hall retained a share in Hey Doc. He is one of two winners out of the three-time winning mare
Heyington Honey who died in February 2015.
Hall owns Hey Doc’s older half-sister Heather Honey (Congrats) whose first foal is a yearling colt
by Street Boss (Street Cry) before missing to Exceed And Excel (Danehill) last year.
She was covered by Written Tycoon (Iglesia) on October 30 this year, her third season at stud.
“He had a very serious injury and there was a time when we wondered if he would ever race again,
so to see him here, today, winning a G1 is quite incredible,” Hall said.
“Credit to Tony and Calvin McEvoy and their team for getting him back to where he is today –
he is just an unbelievably tough horse and Luke said as soon as he jumped to the front today,
he was never going to get beaten.”