Hey Doc chasing first Caulfield win in Orr

Mathew Toogood
Hey Doc has the chance to score his first win at Caulfield when he runs in the Group One Orr Stakes

Tony McEvoy is looking forward to seeing Hey Doc step out to 1400 metres in the C F Orr Stakes as the multiple Group One-winning gelding bids to overcome a Caulfield hoodoo.

Hey Doc competes over the distance in Saturday's Orr for the first time since finishing fourth in the Group One Memsie Stakes at the same track in the early spring of 2017.

McEvoy, who trains in partnership with his son Calvin, is confident the gelding has tightened up from his recent second in the Australia Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on January 24 and is keen to see how he fares over the longer distance.

"He's not a miler but he was very good at 1400 metres. His win in the (2017) C S Hayes Stakes was a pretty impressive and very dominant," McEvoy said.

"I think he'll be fine at 1400 and I am looking forward to seeing him out to that distance again."

Hey Doc's nine wins from 24 starts include Group One victories at Flemington (2017 Australian Guineas), The Valley (2017 Manikato Stakes) and Ascot in Perth (2019 Winterbottom Stakes).

The Winterbottom win in November was his second start back from a lengthy injury absence.

The six-year-old has yet to win in five starts at Caulfield but has finished top four on four of those occasions, including a close third in the 2016 Group One Caulfield Guineas.

"Caulfield can do that to horses, for sure, but there's not one of those races we walked away from and blamed the track," McEvoy said.

"We just thought there were other circumstances.

"He was huge in the Guineas from his wide barrier.

"So I think he goes at the track, but yes he hasn't been able to win there."

Orr Stakes favourite Scales Of Justice won the Australia Stakes with McEvoy saying Hey Doc did not get the chance to rest up front with Ashlor on his outside.

"I'd say there's good improvement to come out of it and I suppose there doesn't need to be a lot of improvement because he still ran second," McEvoy said.

"Only one got past him so it was still a pretty good performance. But he's definitely improved.

"He's a Group One horse. He's very honest and I expect him to be highly competitive again."

McEvoy won the Orr last year with Manuel who suffered a fatal fall in the Australia Stakes.