Rejuvenated sprinter Hey Doc has joined an elite band of multiple Group 1 Manikato Stakes winners, crowning a remarkable comeback by breaking the 1200m track record on a sizzling Valley track.
Dismissed by many as a faded force, the seven-year-old delivered a massive boost for trainers Tony and Calvin McEvoy and jockey Luke Currie, who narrowly avoided another serious injury at Geelong on Wednesday.
Joining Tauto, Dual Choice, Manikato, Spinning Hill and Spark Of Life as a dual winner of the race, Hey Doc ($10) downed Trekking ($3.70) and Dirty Work ($6) while breaking Loving Gaby’s race record in 1:08.76.
An emotional Calvin McEvoy praised the gelding and his owners.
“I wish they were here. They’ve been patient throughout his whole career. He’s had a couple of setbacks,” he said.
“When he came back and won the (Group 1) Winterbottom off injury that was a special moment, but this is his fourth Group 1 now.
“There’s not many horses that win four and it’s a very special moment.”
What a marvel! Hey Doc wins his second Group 1 Manikato Stakes. 🧡@TheValley @mcevoymitchell pic.twitter.com/uY6KT4VDLn
Currie praised Hey Doc’s longevity.
“He’s a beauty. He puts himself on the speed and he tries heart out,” he said.
“He just brings it every time he comes to the races.”
On a night when forecasts of a deluge failed to materialise, McEvoy’s flag-bearer capped a meeting where three individual track records fell in devastating fashion.
Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes’ inexperienced sprinter Written Beauty smashed Nature Strip’s 1000m track record by scorching around the course in 56.92sec
Groundswell then lowered the 1500m track record to 1min 28.67sec.
And to emphasise the lightning nature of the track, Sartorial Splendour clocked the second-fastest time – 54.65sec – over the 955m course.
In another highlight, Danny O’Brien’s Iconoclasm won the VOBIS Gold Star (1500m) for the third year in a row.
“He’s just a pillar of consistency and (to win this race) three years in a row, that is some effort from him,” O’Brien said.
Originally published asHey Doc turns back clock in Manikato
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