McEvoy has chance for third Merson Cooper

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November 17, 2017 - 03:42 PM

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Trainer Tony McEvoy will unveil two more two-year-olds in the Listed Merson Cooper Stakes at Sandown and is leaning towards the filly Oohood as the pick of his runners.

McEvoy won last Saturday's Group Three Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) at Flemington with unbeaten colt Run Naan and the trainer saddles up Oohood and colt Secret Blaze in Saturday's Listed 1000m race.

Oohood has firmed from $5 to $3.20 favouritism with TAB fixed odds since the market opened on Wednesday while Secret Blaze is at $8.50.

McEvoy has won the Merson Cooper Stakes twice in recent years with Maximus Moonard (2011) and Jackson (2015).

"I'm very happy to have them there," McEvoy said.

"Oohood trialled really nicely in Adelaide. She's only had one trial so she'll be a little bit down on experience, and I normally prefer to give them two trials, but she's a very quick learner.

"I've decided to trust her and run her on the back of one trial and she had a gallop at Sandown this week and galloped well."

Secret Blaze has had two barrier trials in Adelaide, the most recent a winning one over 1000m at Gawler last Friday.

"It's been a bit of a big week for him," McEvoy said.

"He trialled in Adelaide last Friday, he's travelled across to Melbourne and he's running this Saturday.

"The reason I accepted with him was that he's eaten up and seems to have handled it, and his two trials have been really good.

"I'd expect my two to run nice, competitive races.

"I'd probably lean to the filly (Oohood) on pure ability. But (Secret Blaze) has probably had a bit better preparation into it."

Six of the eight juveniles in the race are at single figure odds.