Co-trainer Tony McEvoy always planned to back up his two class runners from Flemington last week, Dollar For Dollar and Pretty Brazen, in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
Pretty Brazen was successful in the Group Two Let’s Elope Stakes and Dollar For Dollar finished fifth in the Bobbie Lewis Stakes.
“It was always my intention to back them up and I saw enough from both of them to say they are legitimate chances in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes,” McEvoy said.
McEvoy said Pretty Brazen was back to her best last week and her win had flown under the radar.
“All the talk after the race was how well Arcadia Queen had run. Arcadia Queen is a top-class mare and we held her comfortably,” McEvoy said.
“People talked about Arcadia Queen’s sectionals but what about my filly’s?”
“There’s not many Group One races for mares. Pretty Brazen is definitely Group One class so why not back her up and give her her chance.
“She’s a pretty good horse, this one. She won the Sandown Guineas as a three-year-old filly, the first for 14 years.
“The only blot on her copybook was when in two runs in Sydney she couldn’t handle that way of going.”
McEvoy said he was also thrilled that Luke Currie was going to ride her.
“It’s a testament to Luke’s professionalism that he can get down to ride her at 54.5 kilos, and also to his class to be riding so well so soon after such a long lay-off.”
Although Dollar For Dollar is eight, McEvoy believes he is ready to fire.
“I thought Dollar For Dollar had them last week but he just blew out with 80 metres to go at his second run after a year off,” McEvoy said.
“That was a strong field and he’s come on a lot since. He’s now right to go.”
Dollar For Dollar finished second in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes two years ago to Jungle Cat.
The trainer believes emerging stayer Game Keeper can prove that he’s a genuine Caulfield Cup horse by winning the Naturalism Stakes, the race which carries a golden ticket into the Group One.
“It’s a vital race for him. It will tell me whether he’s good enough to go to the Turnbull Stakes and then the Caulfield Cup,”McEvoy said.
“He’s really turned around. He won his four runs over winter and then his run in the Aurie’s Star was exceptional and then I thought he ran fabulous over 1700 metres last start.”