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While they’re going to need a bit of luck in the Winter Stakes 2013 this Saturday, dual-state trainer Tony McEvoy is looking forward to the Hawkesbury Cup lead-up from his veteran galloper Prince Of Capers.
The rising eight-year-old Arena gelding is looking to bounce back in the $100,000 Inghams Love’Em Winter Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens this weekend after their disappointing eighth last start in a Benchmark 90 over the Randwick mile.
They get back in distance for this and also drop back from 58kg to just 54kg for the Winter Stakes where they are set to be ridden by Brenton Avdulla from gate eight.
McEvoy is thrilled with their weight but admits he would prefer the track to stay in the Slow range with Prince Of Capers boasting an outstanding wet track record.
This weekend is start number 54 for Prince Of Capers who is after their 11th win in what is likely to be their final preparatory run before the newly rescheduled $150,000 Group 3 Hawkesbury Gold Cup back over the mile at their home track on August 22.
Adelaide’s McEvoy only recently set up a permanent base at Hawkesbury and Prince Of Capers has been one of his ace assets in the Sydney stables.
“It’s a really fantastic complex and the most important thing is the horses are doing well,” McEvoy said.
“The main reason I came here was not because of the money, but because I wanted to grow my owner base, which I was finding difficult in Adelaide.
“I thought I’d make the move and the people have responded really well. The impressive thing about my Hawkesbury base is that within two hours there are 17 tracks that race from $15,000 to $100,000.
“The options it gives me, my horses and my owners is incredible.”
While they are yet to win a black type it’s not from lack of enthusiasm and McEvoy believes with a bit of luck Prince Of Capers could just break that stakes duck on the weekend.
“He’s an older horse and as a seven-year-old he really appreciates having these freshen-ups,” McEvoy said.
“I’ve had quite a bit of success doing that with him.
“He’s worked really nicely this week and he’s telling me he’s looking forward to getting back to the races.
“The question mark with him is, is he stakes class? I believe he is Listed class … I’m not sure he’s a Group horse.
“He just needs all the moons lined up for him to win a stakes race and it has to be this time of the year when there’s some give in the tracks.”
They are rated a $13 chance to do so in the relatively open Winter Stakes odds which are led by the in-form Gai Waterhouse-trained Under The Sun ($4) and their last-start conqueror in the Civic Stakes Mic Mac ($4.80) who must overcome the 60.5kg topweight.
Last year’s Hawkesbury Gold Cup winner Darci Be Good is also in the mix returning from an injury enforced break paying $15.
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