Markets for this Saturday’s 2012 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes at Flemington may be led by the unbeaten All Too Hard, but Angaston-based trainer Tony McEvoy is confident his runner Jimando has what it takes to upset the favourite.
A half-brother to the mighty mare Black Caviar, All Too Hard certainly has a lot to live up to when they shoot for win number two-from-two in the $250,000 Group 2 Henry Bucks VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Flemington’s Super Saturday of Racing.
Having won their debut appearance in the Listed Talindert Stakes (1100m) at the track on February 18, the bookies are taking no chances with such a nicely bred colt and have All Too Hard as the $3.50 favourite in the horse racing betting markets on the race.
Occupying the second line of VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes betting at a quote of around $5 is then Jimando drawn one wider than the favourite in barrier 11.
The Adelaide-based Commands colt was a one-time fancy for the Blue Diamond Stakes after their smashing win in the Listed Inglis Debutants Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield last October.
After running a close third to Mama’s Choice in the Listed Chairman’s Stakes (1100m) first-up for the season, however, they lost their spot at the top of the Blue Diamond odds and eventually finished seven lengths away fourth to Samaready in the $1 million clash last time out on February 25.
“It was a very good run in the Blue Diamond as he didn’t get much of a rest from that gate (16),” McEvoy said.
“He had to do all the work and I thought he toughed it out very well.”
McEvoy is hopeful of a form return from Jimando on Saturday as they go to 1400-metres, the dedicated horseman vying for his second win having prepared 2004 VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Barley A Moment when he trained for Lindsay Park.
“He will love the trip,” McEvoy said.
“It is a very even, hard race again and a big field but we’re hoping he can run another good race for us.
“He is very happy and well and I’m pretty pleased with him.”
For their two first-up runs this season Jimando has been ridden by Blake Shinn, but Nash Rawiller takes over the duties on Saturday with Shinn riding in Sydney.
Rawiller partnered with Jimando for their maiden run back in October when the duo put three and a half lengths on their closest rival, and McEvoy believes the pair can get the job done again with an upset VRC Sires’ Produce Stakes result.
“Nash won the Debutants on him at his first start at Caulfield and was keen to get back on the horse which was very pleasing for us,” McEvoy said.
Other exciting two-year-olds with claims in the VRC Sires Produce Stakes who feature in the top-half of the betting markets include last-start winning Snitzel colt Pronto Pronto, Danny O’Brien’s Shamexpress, the Peter Snowden-trained Blue Diamond fifth placed Rusambo and David Hayes’ stakes winning filly Mama’s Choice.
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