Fresh Hey Doc right for Manikato assault

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October 26, 2017 - 03:30 PM

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After success in the Australian Guineas, trainer Tony McEvoy was expecting Hey Doc to be one of the weight-for-age stars of the spring.

And following success first-up over the straight 1200m course at Flemington in August, McEvoy saw nothing to alter that opinion.

After a respectable fourth to Vega Magic in the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield Hey Doc was a fading 10th behind Humidor in last month's Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington which had McEvoy concerned.

McEvoy wasn't worried about Hey Doc leading, it was the manner in which he led.

The trainer ordered a freshen up for the son of Duporth and decided to keep him to sprinting.

On Friday night at Moonee Valley in the Group One Manikato Stakes, Hey Doc takes on some of Australia's best sprinters over 1200m.

McEvoy is expecting Hey Doc to relish a faster tempo on the tight Moonee Valley circuit, a track he is undefeated on from two starts.

The trainer took the opportunity of taking the four-year-old to the track for Breakfast With The Best on Tuesday and walked away delighted.

"His base fitness is brilliant but his lungs needed an open up," McEvoy said of the work.

"He's bright and well but it's a good race, a deep race."

Hey Doc confronts Group One winners Chautauqua, Vega Magic and English along with seven other accomplished sprinters.

McEvoy now wants to find out whether he is a Group One horse, despite his Australian Guineas success, or whether he sits a rung below.

"He's suggested to me that he's not a Group One miler at weight-for-age so we'll find out where he sits as a sprinter," McEvoy said.

"If he's not going to match it with these horses at Group One level then maybe he's a Group Two horse, which is not too bad either.

"The pressure in a Group One sprint is going to suit him as he won't be out in front pulling.

"He'll just camp on them and he'll love getting around that bend."

Hey Doc has met with some support ahead of Friday night's race, firming from $26 into $21.

Vega Magic, runner-up in The Everest, is the $2.30 favourite ahead of In Her Time ($5) and Chautauqua ($7).