Xilong’s black type success
Trainers Tony and Calvin McEvoy are excited about 2020 with the promising three-year-old filly Xilong which picked up a black type win at Sandown on Saturday, November 16.
The filly made it four wins and two placings from just six starts but the McEvoys are keen to test her against the best next year.
Xilong, a strong $2.50 favourite and ridden by Luke Currie, led throughout to win the Listed Twilight Glow Stakes (1400m) at Sandown with Tony McEvoy announcing the filly would be spelled immediately.
He said the Group One Sangster Stakes (1200m) at Morphettville in May appealed as a suitable target.
Xilong was a shade slow to jump but accelerated quickly to lead throughout scoring a 1-1/4 length win from Palurien ($5.50) with Excelida ($31) a length away third.
“I’ve always thought of her as a Group-class filly and the Sangster Stakes, the Group One for fillies and mares in Adelaide in May, I think she’s talented enough to run in that,” McEvoy said.
“With a break now, I think she will come back even better, and although that is high, that’s what I think of her.”
McEvoy had a query about the trip but his mind was put at rest after Xilong ran a strong 1400m after burning the candle at both ends on Saturday.
At her last start, Xilong was run down when third at Flemington over the distance on Melbourne Cup day.
“She had a box seat run the other day, but the gap probably came 50 metres too soon and Luke was obligated to take it,” McEvoy said.
“She darted through but then got picked up on the line by two fillies that had had a run at 1400 metres, so maybe she just peaked and that certainly looked the case.
“But she did it at both ends today and was impressive.
“I thought she was a bit free midrace, but Luke rated her beautifully and she showed her class.”
Winning jockey Luke Currie was impressed by Xilong’s victory.
“She wasn’t quick out the machine,” Currie said.
“That is something she has to iron out.
“But she still cruised across and had a nice lead and she was never in doubt.
“She relaxed lovely in front and run through the line, it was a good effort, and a good training effort by Tony and the team.”