Secret on Cup trail
Talented stayer Secret Blaze turned in a last-to-first effort to win the Christmas Carols Handicap (2500m) at Flemington on Saturday, December 21.
Trained by Tony & Calvin McEvoy, Secret Blaze, the $2.70 favourite and ridden by Luke Currie, overcame a slow tempo to score a strong three-quarter length win from Defibrillate ($2.90) with El Don ($8.50), a similar margin away third.
The winner’s time was almost five seconds outside the track record.
Trainer Calvin McEvoy said the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington on New Year’s day would provide a guide to Secret Blaze’s prospects of contesting the Adelaide Cup (3200m) in March.
McEvoy said he was concerned watching Saturday’s race unfold.
“From that wide gate Luke had no option but to go back and take his medicine,” McEvoy said.
“But they were really going slow and he was going to have to run some pretty slick sectionals to get there.
“I thought on the corner Defibrillate was going better, but he really toughed it out.
“We’re learning that he’s a pretty tough horse and a handy stayer and his next start will be in the Bagot.
“Longer term he might be an Adelaide Cup horse as he’s a progressive young stayer on the up.
“He ran an excellent second in the Pakenham Cup and was one of the few runners to make ground.”
Winning jockey Luke Currie said Secret Blaze had turned in an excellent effort.
“They went a bit steady early and he was a bit keen,” Currie said.
“They left him a little bit when they quickened but he slowly worked his way up.
“But he was too good for them once he got up to challenge.”