Adelaide trainer Tony McEvoy has confirmed plans to target The Goodwood 2015 in May this Adelaide Autumn Racing Carnival after a first-up win from Jimando over the weekend.
The Commands five-year-old resumed off a spell spanning nearly seven months to win a Benchmark 90 over 1000m at Morphettville Parks on Saturday.
It was an upset result that saw him run down the in-form favourite Jennyfromtheblock, carrying three kilos less than his 56kg, to score by a length in a result that surprised even his trainer.
“I told the owners that I thought he might have been a touch vulnerable first-up,” the Angaston-based McEvoy told The Advertiser.
“I expected them to run him off his feet over the 1000m so to pick them up like he did in such a manner was very pleasing.”
The first-up victory was his first run since pulling up lame after a disappointing ninth behind Akavoroun at Flemington back in late June last year.
It also broke a lengthy drought for the injury-prone Jimando who hadn’t won a race since May 2013.
The horse originally caught the eye as a juvenile on debut when winning the Listed Inglis Debutants Stakes (1000m) by a big margin in 2011.
His other best runs were a fourth to Samaready in the 2012 Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes as the first male two-year-old home, a win at Flemington in the Listed Henry Bucks Best Dressed that spring and a third to superstar colt Pierro in the Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley.
That early form showed promise but McEvoy said Jimando had never really developed into the class of sprinter they had expected.
“He’s always promised a lot this horse and hasn’t really delivered,” he said.
“When you look back through his form, he’s always been competitive in some very good races.”
After the Bill Stutt McEvoy set Jimando down the path towards the 2012 Victoria Derby but the youngster raced erratically after an awkward jump and didn’t see out the distance finishing dead last to walk home around 34 lengths off the winner Fiveandahalfstar.
“I tried to make him stay as a three-year-old given the dam side, but that didn’t work so now it’s about managing him smartly over similar trips,” McEvoy said.
Now the trainer will look to take advantage on his new found form and head towards a run in the $500,000 Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville Racecourse on May 16.
Exactly how he will get there is still up in the air however with McEvoy not keen to lock anything in at this early stage of his preparation, although Flemington next start is being considered.
“Given what he’s gone through I told the owners before he resumed that I didn’t want to make any plans with him,” he said.
“There is a race over 1200m down the Flemington straight in a fortnight I’ll look at but I’ll wait and see how he cones through the run.
“If he bounces back well that could be an option but we’ll just take things as they come.”
The Goodwood is known as a tough 1200m race but McEvoy is confident that with winning form up to 1400m Jimando will handle it without issue.
“He’s the type of horse who could run well in a race like The Good (Goodwood) fresh,” he said.
“Those are the type of races we can look at going forward.”
Last year Smokin’ Joey scored an upset as a 40-1 roughie in The Goodwood coming via four Melbourne runs.
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