Savatoxl’s Goodwood win
Savatoxl, a horse sent to from Darwin to Adelaide to win a Balaklava Cup, exceeded that goal by landing the Group One Furphy Goodwood Handicap (1200m) at Morphettville on Saturday, May 15.
It gave trainer Tony McEvoy his second win in three years in South Australia’s famous sprint having won with Despatch in 2019. It was soon after that win he welcomed son Calvin into a training partnership, and they shared today’s win.
Savatoxl repeated Despatch by also winning the D C McKay Stakes as a lead up to the Goodwood.
Today, Savatoxl ($19) was beautifully ridden by stable jockey Barend Vorster staying on the inside and racing away to win by two lengths from Instant Celebrity ($5.50) with the heavily backed Gytrash ($2.70 fav), a half-length away third.
After beginning beautifully, the five-year-old held the inside but settled third with stablemate Dollar For Dollar leading but sitting wide on the track.
Vorster asked the gelding to extend turning for home and Savatoxl sprinted away to win well.
Trainer Tony McEvoy was ecstatic to land his first Goodwood in partnership with Calvin.
“It’s a bit surreal,” McEvoy said.
“The ownership group had enough faith to send him down after winning a Guineas then a place in the Cup in Darwin.
“In the Balaklava Cup he just didn’t run the mile (1600m), against this level.
“I asked if we could go back sprinting and they agreed, and he’s a really good horse.
“He didn’t have the pace to lead clearly today after beginning beautifully.
“Barend was beautiful and showed all his experience to let the horse get into his nice rhythm and not panic.
“It was very pleasing to share the win with Calvin, he’s been working really hard setting up Ballarat.”
McEvoy was delighted to see jockey Barend Vorster land the Group One.
“It makes me feel fantastic.
“Barend’s work ethic is incredible and the knowledge he has brought to the stable, I’ve really enjoyed having him.”
Calvin said he was delighted for both the ownership group and Barend.
“Barend works bloody hard, he’s there every morning riding work and helping the younger staff, well done to the whole team,” Calvin said.
Vorster was able to celebrate the win with his wife Nikki and son Brendan on hand.
“To get a Group One at home in South Australia was very special,” Vorster said.
“When it’s not with an odds-on favourite it is even better.
“Today, with a bit more sticky going, he came out well but just couldn’t muster.
“I was nice and patient with him, let him get into his stride and I was fortunate enough to keep the fence.
“Going through the 400 he found another gear.
“Savatoxl is not very tall but a very strong horse with a good strong girth and he quickens up really well.
“I was super confident all the way up the home straight.”