Savatoxl’s Christmas gift
Northern Territory champ Savatoxl gave trainers Tony & Calvin McEvoy consecutive wins in the time-honoured South Australian sprint the Listed Adelaide Galvanising Christmas Handicap (1200m) at Morphettville on Saturday, December 12.
The McEvoys began their training partnership in September last year and Ef Troop gave them a major local success in the Christmas Handicap last year.
This year, it was Savatoxl which led throughout under a wonderful ride by Caitlin Jones, who only a week earlier finished her apprenticeship.
Jones picked up the ride when apprentice Teagan Voorham, who had ridden the gelding at his past two runs, broke a leg in a trackwork accident during the week.
The feature win gave the McEvoys a winning double at Morphettville having won earlier in the day with Mayan.
Bounced to the front by Jones, Savatoxl ($7) scored by a half-length from Music Addition ($21) which had the trail on the winner, with Too Good Too Hard ($2.40 fav) a length away third.
Savatoxl won four of five starts this year in the Northern Territory before finishing midfield in the Darwin Cup.
Connections sent the five-year-old to the McEvoys for the Balaklava Cup in September in which he finished third to stablemate Winning Partner.
Finn McCarthy, SA stable foreman for McEvoy Mitchell Racing, said Savatoxl had been brilliant leading throughout.
“It’s absolutely huge for the horse, and brilliant for the owners” McCarthy said.
“If it wasn’t for the owners he probably would have been out for a spell two runs ago, but they were pretty keen to keep going.
“So, all credit to the owners.
“This fellow has been tough as nails, he’s been running with quite big weights and he was very strong today.
“He’s never really put in a bad race for us, he’s very consistent and it is great for the owners to get a big win like this with him.”
McCarthy also praised winning jockey Caitlin Jones.
“She gave him an absolute peach of a ride.
“Caitlin timed the race brilliantly, she’s been in great form and it was great for her to get a win for us.”
Pre-race Jones said “Hello handsome” as she was legged aboard Savatoxl and McCarthy agreed.
“He’s a gorgeous looking horse alright.
“His condition has kept up the whole way through and he has been very good at home to do anything with, and it is great he is doing so well.”