Victorian success expected for the winning partner
Image: Pat Scala
While the winning partner has won seven races for Tony and Calvin McEvoy, the father-son training team is hoping the gelding can break through a drought in Victoria.
The winning partner took the first two of his seven victories at Victoria in the 2018-19 season at the age of three, while the other five of his victories came in South Australia.
Among those wins are back-to-back Balaklava Cup wins – 2020 and 21 – as well as last year’s Murray Bridge Cup.
The winning partner has the chance to return to winning form in Victoria in the VOBIS Gold Bullion (1400m) at Pakenham on Saturday.
Since his last success on Victorian soil in Sandown in February 2019, Winning Partner has raced in the State 12 times, recording three seconds.
The latest came on his last start when he was beaten by a short header by Wicklow Town in The Valley to Cox Plate Eve.
“He’s cooled off really, really well,” Calvin McEvoy said.
“But it’s a little different coming back on a trip for him.
“He’s a horse we insisted on riding on while traveling, but he’s cooled off really well and it’s shaping up to be a good race for him.”
While Yulong January wears the number one saddle pad and has a clear advantage over the winning partner and they are the same weight, Yulong January picks up while the winning partner has residual fitness.
McEvoy concedes Yulong January will be tough to beat but believes that under race conditions the winning partner is well off.
“He carries 59kg being a 92 rater and there are some 66 rater who carry two kilos less than him, so I think he’s in the right place,” McEvoy said.
“He’s in good shape and I hope he can get the job done for some nice VOBIS prizes.”
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