Tony McEvoy is looking forward to the day Secret Blaze gets into a staying race run at a solid tempo.
But McEvoy does not see that happening on Wednesday when Secret Blaze runs in the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington.
Secret Blaze will be racing for the sixth time this campaign, looking for his fourth win, and McEvoy, who trains in partnership with his son Calvin, has not seen anything from the stayer to suggest he is not holding his form.
He followed a tough win at The Valley over 2040m on November 30 with a closing second in the Pakenham Cup (2500m) on December 7.
In a slowly run 2500m -ace at Flemington on December 21, Secret Blaze came from last to defeat Defibrillate.
The four-year-old has an extra 300m to contend with on Wednesday which McEvoy admits is a concern, but one that he is not going to worry about.
“It is a concern going to the 2800 metres for the first time,” McEvoy said.
“But the other thing that he has been lacking is a race with any tempo and I’m not sure we’re going to get that in a 2800-metre race.
“He’s been effective with the way we’ve been riding him so we’re not going to go and change anything.”
The Bagot was previously run over 2500m until the Victoria Racing Club extended it to 2800m for the 2009 edition won by Good Red.
Recent winners are Parthesia and Etymology, ridden by Damian Lane and Craig Williams respectively.
Neither has a ride in this year’s race and Secret Blaze’s jockey Luke Currie will be looking to add his name to the honour roll.
McEvoy said Secret Blaze, who is the early $2.60 favourite, had not gone backwards since his latest victory.
“I think he’s just got to hold that form line and it seems that he has,” McEvoy said.
“He’s bright and he did some really strong staying work on Saturday at Flemington and he looks like he’s in the zone.
“He’ll start favourite and deservedly so, I’d say.”