One-eyed blinker to improve Hezafox at Flemington
Trainer Greg Eurell is prepared to make an exception to an old adage when it comes to promising young stayer Hezafox.
Hezafox will be race in a one-eyed blinker for the first time on Saturday when contesting the Efficient Handicap (2000m) at Flemington after recording a last start win at Sandown.
Eurell said he was looking for a little extra from Hezafox as the gelding rises in grade on Saturday.
“He’s always had this bit of a habit of leaning in under pressure and it’s been a bit of a tricky one,” Eurell said.
“It’s a bit of that old rule, ‘if its not broken don’t fix it’ as he’s been settling so well, but late in his races he wants to get in.
“We just think we can get a bit more out of him if he runs straight and true.
“I tried a set of winkers on him in trackwork but he didn’t handle them at all, so we tried a one-eyed blinker on the left eye and I was surprised how well he took to it.”
Hezafox broke through for his maiden city victory at Sandown over 2100m on May 2.
Following that win Eurell contemplated the South Australian Derby on May 9 or the Andrew Ramsden Stakes a week later, but eventually thought the better option was to gain further experience by racing through the winter.
Saturday’s race forms a part of the Mahogany Challenge, a series of races over the winter months for three-year-olds stayers, with a final at Flemington on July 4.
“Going this way it gives us a bit more continuity,” Eurell said.
“After the Ramsden you are left with not a lot to offer, but this way he can keep racing and if he shows he’s up to spring company he will have that residual fitness under him.”