Veteran 10-year-old Ihtsahymn entered the...
A brave all-the-way win by Xilong in the Group 2 $175,000 Euclase Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville on Saturday could have the Tony & Calvin McEvoy camp keen to target the 2020 The Goodwood with their in-form filly.
Nothing has gone right for the daughter of Deep Field this prep, the promising three-year-old atoning for her luckless two previous runs with a tough effort in the Euclase Stakes 2020 on Robert Sangster Stakes Day third-up.
She missed a lead-up run into the Group 1 Surround Stakes (1400m) fresh in late February, but was still impressive at a huge price when under a length back third to Probabeel at Randwick first-up.
Her latest start saw her running fourth to Garner in Morphettville’s Listed Redelva Stakes (1100m) before she missed a key trial ahead of the Euclase Stakes.
In the end it didn’t matter, with the blinkers on and the inside alley jockey Barend Vorster was able to hit the front on Xilong and the filly just had enough in the tank to hold off her last start conqueror on the line.
“It’s really pleasing,” co-trainer Calvin McEvoy told the media post-win, just one race after stablemate Shrouded In Mist scored an upset all-the-way victory in the Group 2 Queen Of The South Stakes.
“Nothing’s going right for her this preparation.
“We knew she would’ve benefited fitness-wise so much (with a lead-up trial) going into today.
“But it was a beautiful ride…she pinged the gates, blinkers first time, she really had to do all the work.
“A really tough win.”
Taking full advantage of that inside alley, after charging to the lead Xilong set a terrific pace really hitting the speed button midrace.
The favourite, Redelva Stakes winner Garner, got a good run fourth and the Gordon Richards-trained gelding came with a driving finish on the line.
He just couldn’t get there however and top honours went to Xilong, while the fast-finishing I Am Eloquent running a first-up third to round out the Euclase Stakes trifecta in 2020.
A next-up acid test against the older sprinters in the iconic Group 1 $400,000 The Goodwood (1200m) on May 16 could now be on the cards for Xilong.
“She’s very quiet at home but she just gets here and knows it’s game day and again she was a little difficult to saddle-up today but if she keeps winning like that I’ll put up with it,” McEvoy added.
2020 Euclase Stakes Results
|1||8||XILONG||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Barend Vorster||–||1||55.5kg||$4.60|
|2||1||GARNER||Gordon Richards||Jason Holder||0.1L||11||57.5kg||$3.10F|
|3||12||I AM ELOQUENT||Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young||Ethan Brown||0.8L||7||55.5kg||$13|
|4||13||BROADWAYANDFOURTH||Mitchell Freedman||Zac Spain||0.8L||10||55.5kg||$10|
|5||2||FREE OF DEBT||Chris Bieg||John Allen||2.1L||6||57.5kg||$21|
|6||11||LI’L KONTRA||Ryan Balfour||Dom Tourneur||3L||3||55.5kg||$19|
|7||10||SIZZLEFLY||Phillip Stokes||Ms Kayla Crowther (a)||3.5L||12||55.5kg||$10|
|8||5||HANKSTAR||Peter Nolan||Caitlin Jones (a)||3.8L||9||57.5kg||$61|
|9||6||CALYPSO REIGN||David Jolly||Damien Thornton||5L||5||57.5kg||$81|
|10||4||ROCCABASCERANA||Will Clarken||Todd Pannell||5.3L||2||57.5kg||$6.50|
|11||7||KAYSERI (NZ)||Richard & Chantelle Jolly||Paul Gatt||5.6L||8||57.5kg||$151|
|12||9||TENLEY||James Cummings||Jake Toeroek||7.9L||4||55.5kg||$17|
|–||3||EXCESS FUNDS||Levi Kavanagh||Dean Holland||–||0||–||–|
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