Gelded Calderon makes return at Caulfield

Craig Brennan

Trainer Tony McEvoy is hoping a gelding operation will transform Calderon into the horse he bought with a Cox Plate in mind.

Formerly trained by Richard Hannon in England, Calderon also needed a name change from Steel Of Madrid because there was already a horse called the same in Australia.

Despite a wide barrier draw, Calderon makes his return in the Listed Anniversary Vase at Caulfield on Saturday.

Calderon hasn't raced since beating one home in the Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley last October, the day of the Cox Plate, which followed an Australian debut last behind Gailo Chop in the Caulfield Stakes.

McEvoy said Calderon had had a gradual build-up following a healthy spell.

"We gelded him and let him become an Australian," McEvoy said.

"We didn't do anything special."

Calderon has drawn barrier 14 of the 15 acceptors but McEvoy said the five-yea-rold would still be taking his place.

McEvoy said he needed to get back racing ahead of trip to Adelaide.

"He's a bit above himself but I want to get him back to Adelaide to run him in the Robert A Lee Stakes," McEvoy said.

"The barrier will make his job very tough but if I don't kick him off I'll probably end up missing that race."

A barrier trial at Cranbourne, in which he finished a narrow second to stablemate Silvera earlier in the month, was followed by a Flemington jump-out last Friday which McEvoy said had tightened the gelding.

"He's had the two trials going in but he's still very fresh and will need the run on Saturday in my opinion," McEvoy said.

"He'll run again over a mile in Adelaide before going into the Robert A Lee third up."

McEvoy will run Temple Of Bel in the VOBIS Sires with the filly having her first start for the stable.

Previously trained by Archie Alexander for whom she was successful twice last spring, Temple Of Bel was transferred to McEvoy following a first-up fifth at Ballarat on April 8.

"She looks quite a nice filly," McEvoy said.

"She'll run in this and the owners wishes are to try and get her to the (Group One) Australasian Oaks over in Adelaide.

"I've still got to get a handle on her and no doubt we'll learn a bit more about her after Saturday."