McEvoy, Ryan and Alexiou look for Golden double

McEvoy, Ryan and Alexiou had a discussion after the two spring runs of General Salute and are looking for the edge that could find them a length.

The Russian Revolution colt switched on and off in the straight when fourth in the San Domenico Stakes and in the Run To The Rose, where he charged late to be beaten three-quarters of a length into sixth.

“He has been losing his concentration a bit, generally from the 400m to 200m marks, and hangs to the left a bit as well. Then it’s like he switches on and gets going again in the final 100m,” McEvoy said. “We had a chat and he gets the blinkers on, and I’m sure they will get some improvement out of him.

“If he can fully commit, it will make a big difference because he is only getting beaten a length.”

Earlier in the afternoon, McEvoy links with the Les Bridge-trained Celestial Legend in the Heritage Stakes.

Celestial Legend has a barrier trial hit-out on Tuesday and McEvoy said he will be better when the journey is longer than the 1100m of Saturday.

“He is going to improve with the run,” McEvoy said. “Les said he will have a couple of runs this time in, and it will hold him in good stead for the autumn.

“He’s going to enjoy getting up in trip.”

Dunn puts trust in Rawiller on Cepheus

Murwillumbah trainer Matt Dunn has his sights on the Big Dance with Cepheus and has Nash Rawiller as his partner for the ride.

Rawiller reunites with the See The Stars six-year-old in the Shannon Stakes after winning the Ajax Stakes on him in the autumn, which made the decision that he was a miler for Dunn.

“Nash worked this bloke out for us,” Dunn said. “We bought him as a Melbourne Cup horse and then Nash went and led the Ajax by a couple of lengths and kept going.

“It was obvious that he was a miler, and that’s how we train him now. We qualified for a $3 million race [the Big Dance] when he won a South Grafton Cup.

“To have Nash on him is a big plus, especially the way he is riding at the moment.

“He is just going out and doing Nash things. You know when you have Nash he is going to get it right 99 per cent of the time, and we just put our faith in him.”

Dunn learned the hard way with Rawiller that he doesn’t need too many instructions.

“One day I asked him to ride one a certain way when it got beat. He came in and gave me a spray,” Dunn remembered. “He is such a great rider I leave it to him now, and I use him whenever I can get him.”

Cepheus takes a couple of runs to find his best and Dunn used a listed Brisbane race first up to start the preparation and plans a couple more runs before the Big Dance.

“That is the target. It’s a big lure, but given his rating we have to run him in these races,” Dunn said. “He has certainly improved from that first run, where he blew out a bit late.

“It is good to get him to 1500m where he is right at home and I expect him to be finding the line.”


Dunn will also look to continue his good run in Highway Handicaps with Take The Kitty, Al Ash Lad and Desert Mist.

“The market probably has it right with Take The Kitty favourite, she is the best chance. But Al Ash Lad can run along in front and could be hard to run on a dry hard track,” Dunn said.

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