In-form hoop Kerrin McEvoy made it an early double on Caulfield Guineas Day this afternoon backing up from a Group 3 win aboard Manikato Stakes-bound Earthquake with a last-to-first Weekend Hussler Stakes 2014 effort aboard Hosting.
McEvoy’s mount in the $120,000 Listed APT Weekend Hussler Stakes (1400m) was aboard the Greg Eurell-trained Hosting, the duo drawn out in the widest gate in the 11-horse field that lost its drawcard contender Dan Excel earlier in the week.
Hong Kong stayer Dan Excel was to have his first run down under here after missing earlier assignments due to a virus.
However throat issues saw the John Moore-trained Singapore Cup winner scratched and the 2014 Cox Plate taken off the plate.
That opened up the markets for the Weekend Hussler Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au, home of the Caulfield Guineas Day $3 million Megapick!
Hosting went out as one of five single figure hopes after the five-year-old Host gelding won over 1300m on September 27 in a Benchmark 90 at Sandown.
While he was up in class today, the 1400m suited and the fast pace allowed from him to settle at the back after being slow away from the outside draw before swooping home to score making up ground over the final 600m.
“There looked to be nice speed on paper,” McEvoy told TVN after the win.
“He tackled them at the 600 metres.
“He’s a horse in good form.”
At the finish they were four across the field fighting for bragging rights, Hosting ($9) just able to nudge ahead and defeat a brave Taddei Tondo ($41), the roughie chance also coming down the outside and in for the fight until the final stride.
Hitting the lead at the 100m mark, the Mick Price-trained Tango’s Daughter ($8.50) held for third just unable to beat the quinella from the inside and hand her trainer his third win in the race in four years.
“He was able to get the right sort of run today and was too strong,” McEvoy, who had plenty of post-raise praise for Hosting, said of the winner.
“He’s an easy horse to ride, easy to switch off.
“He knew it was game on so it’s nice when they’re easy like that.”
Eurell admitted post-win that he’d been worried after Hosting missed the kick and ended up quite far back.
However the eventual winner joined in at the 600m mark and from there was very competitive hinting at better things to come this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
“The horse has always had ability,” Eurell said.
“It was nice to see him make his mark again and get back into it.
“The start was a bit worrying…I didn’t think we’d be that far back.
“But from the 600 to the 400 I was very, very happy with the way he was travelling.”
There’s a good chance Eurell will now stretch the horse, who hadn’t been in black type company since finishing last behind Ferlax in the 2013 Australian Guineas, out to a mile again.
“These races, as you tackle the tougher ones in the spring you’re guided by how well they’re going and he’s certainly on song.
“In a couple of days I’ll sit down and see where he’s at
“I think he will (get the mile), he’s certainly prepped to get the mile…we’ll sneak in that direction.
“The way he’s going I think he’ll have a better opportunity this time.”
His last go at the 1600m was disappointing with lameness having been an issue throughout his career.
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2014 Weekend Hussler Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 3 – 11/10/2014
|1||9||HOSTING||Greg Eurell||Kerrin McEvoy||–||11||54kg||$8.50|
|2||11||TADDEI TONDO||Gerard Moloney||Patrick Moloney (a)||0.1L||8||54kg||$31|
|3||5||TANGO’S DAUGHTER||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||0.3L||4||54kg||$8|
|4||2||ALMA’S FURY||Tony Gollan||Damian Browne||0.8L||6||58kg||$4.80|
|5||7||TURQUOISE KING||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||2.05L||1||54kg||$4.40EF|
|6||4||EXIMIUS||Mick Price||Ms Jackie Beriman (a)||3.55L||3||54kg||$13|
|7||3||SISTINE DEMON||Andrew Noblet||Damien Oliver||4.8L||7||56.5kg||$4.40EF|
|8||6||CLUB COMMAND||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||5L||9||54kg||$13|
|9||8||LOOT ’N’ RUN||Jason Warren||Corey Brown||5.1L||5||54kg||$51|
|10||12||BELIVEAU||Clinton McDonald||Daniel Moor||11.1L||2||54kg||$151|
|11||10||CANTONESE||Neil Dyer||Dean Yendall||11.85L||10||54kg||$101|
|–||1||DAN EXCEL (IRE)||John Moore||Tommy Berry||–||0||–||–|