Angaston trainer Tony McEvoy has confidently predicted more feature race success for Winning Partner after a powerful win in the $100,000 Balaklava Cup on Wednesday.
The money kept flowing for the five-year-old gelding and the heavily-backed favourite showed off his depth of talent when he came from well back to claim the 1600m race.
It is the third win for McEvoy and second since his son Calvin was promoted to co-trainer status. The pair was triumphant last year with Brown Ben, while Tony prepared 2014 winner Longshoreman.
“He is in such good form and deserved a race like this,” Tony McEvoy said. “He has promised it for so long and you can see what he can do today.
“He got a bit further back than was expected, but he unleashed very quickly. (Racing on a good surface) is to the key to him, he does not like getting his toes in.
“But he is a promising horse with more to come.”
Winning Partner will now be aimed at the $100,000 Murray Bridge Cup on October 16.
It was the first Balaklava Cup victory for McEvoy’s stable jockey, South African Barend Vorster, who had his wife Nicolene and son Brendan, 12, trackside to add even more satisfaction for the result.
Nicolene and Brendan only returned to South Australia last month after living in Ballarat while waiting for Barend, who is to relocate there when the new McEvoy stables are operating.
COVID-19 has unsettled those plans and Barend, uncertain when he would see his family again, opted to bring them back to Angaston.
“Tony has looked after us and a win like this makes it better,” Barend said. “Early on they had me beaten for speed. I was not worried, I was always going to have a strong finish.
“They kept that gallop the whole way around the corner and I thought if they keep that going, they will come back to me. It was a good win, a strong win.”
Vorster has had seven rides on Winning Partner for three wins. And backing up the opinion of McEvoy, he was prepared to overlook the fifth-placed finish at Moonee Valley at his previous start, given it was a very heavy track. So heavy, the meeting was called off after that race.
“He has always run good races for me,” Vorster said.
“It is a credit to the stable. Last time he copped the heavy going and the team sent him over in good order.”
The Travis Doudle-trained Analytica continued his consistent form when second, while Savatoxl, making his debut for the McEvoy stable, was third.
Originally published as Vorster finds perfect Partner for Cup success