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New season four year old Game Keeper will kick off his Caulfield Cup campaign at Flemington on Saturday in the Group 3 $160,000 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m).

Game Keeper, above, will kick off his 2020 Caulfield Cup campaign in the Aurie's Star Handicap at Flemington. Photo by Jenny Barnes.

Game Keeper, above, will kick off his 2020 Caulfield Cup campaign in the Aurie’s Star Handicap at Flemington. Photo by Jenny Barnes.

Trainer Tony McEvoy is hopeful that Game Keeper will develop into a top class stayer and he will try to quality him for the 2020 Group 1 $5m Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 17.

“He could run in a Caulfield Cup for us,” Tony McEvoy told the Herald Sun.

“He‘ll love the mile-and-a-half (2400m), so we’ll see, it’s a big call but he’s the sort of horse that could progress to that.”

Game Keeper worked up through the grades as an Autumn three year old and made it four wins on the trot when Damien Oliver piloted him to the winner’s stall in a 2000m three year old Handicap at Flemington on May 23.

“Damien (Oliver) got off him at Flemington that day, carried 62kg first time at 2000m, and said the further the better,” McEvoy said.

McEvoy, who trains in partnership with his son Calvin, said that the 1200m of the Aurie’s Star Handicap might be a bit short for Game Keeper but he expects a good forward showing first up.

“He’ll be a bit vulnerable at 1200m but you need a 1400m horse to win a 1200m down the straight and he’s all that and more,” McEvoy said.

“I gave him (that freshen up) to give him a chance to be there for the spring.”

Game Keeper was one of thirteen original nominations for the Aurie’s Star Handicap while the Lindsay Park Team of Tom Dabernig and Ben Hayes have entered last year’s winner So Si Bon and last season’s Ladbrokes Stakes winner Cape Of Good Hope.

The James Cummings trained Home Of The Brave and Team Snowden’s Hightail and Signore Fox are also entered for the Group 2 $200,000 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on Saturday.

Nominations for the 2020 Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m)

# Last 10 Horse Sex Age Trainer Hcp Rating
1 83x100x80x CAPE OF GOOD HOPE (IRE) H 5 Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes 108
2 0x06x1111x GAME KEEPER G 4 Tony & Calvin McEvoy 81
3 211x0x1623 GREAT AGAIN G 8 Lindsey Smith 100
4 8x213x1108 HIGHTAIL G 4 Peter & Paul Snowden 94
5 24720×3734 HOME OF THE BRAVE (IRE) G 9 James Cummings 104
6 3×56404728 MISS IANO M 7 Mark C Webb 85
7 x710x38156 REYKJAVIK H 6 Lindsey Smith 103
8 x1515x0801 SIGNORE FOX H 5 Peter & Paul Snowden 98
9 x84644116x SO SI BON G 7 Tom Dabernig & Ben Hayes 106
10 5x41140x32 THE CRUSHA G 6 Mark C Webb 70
11 72x229x00x TROPE H 5 Julius Sandhu 97
12 17x539265x WIDGEE TURF G 7 Patrick Payne 101
13 2x4111124x YULONG JANUARY G 5 Ciaron Maher & David Eustace 98

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.