Oohood set for Aurie’s Star despite missing jump-out
Tony McEvoy says nothing should be read into the fact that Oohood missed a recent Flemington jump-out.
The four-year-old was entered in a heat on Friday morning against Vega Magic, Hartnell, Malibu Style and Volkstok’n’barrell but the trainer elected to bypass it.
“I was under the impression the jump-out was going to be down the straight, but when it was on the inside grass I decided not to go there,” McEvoy said.
“I didn’t think she needed it, but if it was down the straight I would have given her a look.”
Oohood is scheduled to begin her spring campaign in Saturday’s Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) at Flemington.
The mare has not raced since finishing eighth in the Group One Surround Stakes at Randwick in March.
She had been in line for a trip to Dubai until McEvoy aborted her autumn campaign after two below-par performances.
“I couldn’t put my finger on why she didn’t come up but she’s bounced back well this time,” McEvoy said.
After second placings in the Golden Slipper and ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes in her two-year-old year, Oohood finally broke her maiden status in the Group One Flight Stakes at Randwick last October.
To date this has been her solitary win from 14 starts, but McEvoy says the mare has developed further following a spell.
“I think she’s improved. Physically she’s stronger,” McEvoy said.
“We haven’t mapped out a program for her and we’re just waiting to she how she’s come back to racing.
“But if she runs well in the Aurie’s Star I think we could go on to the Memsie.”
The Group One Memsie Stakes (1400m) is at Caulfield on August 31.
McEvoy’s Melbourne-based stable jockey Luke Currie will ride Oohood on Saturday.