Dual Group 1 winner Hey Doc will no longer be making the trip to Dubai for the $2 million Al Quoz Sprint over 1200 metres at Meydan on March 28.
Following a disappointing performance in the Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 8, the stable has decided to let their champion have a well-earned spell.
“He jarred up in the near foreleg in the C F Orr Stakes which explains his performance,” Calvin McEvoy said.
“Welfare of our animals always comes first, and we decided it was better for him to go for a rest after what has been an incredibly successful comeback.”
While the jarring was the biggest concern for their six-year-old gelding, McEvoy also reported that Hey Doc didn’t respond to the vaccinations required for an international trip as well as they would have liked.
“It is common that horses don’t always respond well to inoculation,” McEvoy said.
“We just noticed he’s been a little flat since receiving all of the vaccinations.”
With the trip being cancelled, the McEvoys no longer need to search for a jockey following the injuries to their regular stable jockeys Luke Currie and Barend Vosrter.
Currie fell in the final race of the night at Moonee Valley on Friday and suffered two fractured ribs and a fracture to his C7 vertebra, requiring surgery to fuse his C6 and C7 together.
“Luke has come through the surgery well and is feeling okay,” McEvoy said.
“We’re still waiting for the post-surgery update from the doctors but it looks like he’ll be out for a minimum of two months.
“Barend is coming along nicely and is probably about three weeks away from returning to trackwork.”
With Vorster scheduled to move to Ballarat in the middle of the year, McEvoy didn’t rule out the possibility that Vorster could find himself in Victoria sooner than expected.
“We’ll just do what’s best for our team, we have a few options which may include having Barend in Melbourne,” he said.
“We are having success with jockeys like Regan Bayliss, Jamie Kah and Damian Lane in Victoria, and Jason Holder and Todd Pannell are riding well for us in South Australia as well so there’s no rush or panic.”
It’s another big weekend for the McEvoy stable, with runners in Victoria and South Australia as per usual, but also Xilong heading to Sydney for the Group 1 Surround Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.