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).
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|
|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|
|12||17x539265x||WIDGEE TURF||G||7||Patrick Payne||101|
|13||2x4111124x||YULONG JANUARY||G||5||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||98|