Tony McEvoy with Hey Doc (Image: Ned Hunt)
Tony McEvoy said some muscle soreness saw him bypass the Newmarket Handicap with Hey Doc, instead steering the multiple Group 1 winner towards the William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley.
In another coup for the $500,000 sprint under lights on March 23, the reigning Manikato Stakes winner will now head there too - joining the likes of Chautauqua and She Will Reign in having their campaigns head in that direction in recent days.
Hey Doc is three from three around the tight-turning Valley, including the Stutt Stakes in the 2016 spring, and last year's all-the-way G1 Manikato Stakes success.
"He came out of the Lightning - where he ran very poorly - a little bit sore through his pectoral muscles, which was very unusual," McEvoy said.
"He's obviously done the splits, or when he jumped out of the gates he over-reached, or done something.
"I'm not comfortable they've settled down enough, so we'll miss the Newmarket and focus on the William Reid."
Hey Doc is a $26 shot in bet365's all-in market for the William Reid.
WATCH: Hey Doc's Lightning run
As is the usual standard, McEvoy has a strong hand in Saturday's two-year-old event - the G2 MSS Security Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) - with Sanctimonious, Run Naan and Aristocratic Miss.
McEvoy said he fancied Sanctimonious over the two that are coming through Blue Diamond Stakes runs.
"It has [been the target]. We dodged the Blue Diamond with him thinking 1400m would suit him better," he said.
"After he won at The Valley, I took him to Sydney to run him in the Inglis Classic, a big money race, and he ran super.
"He had not much luck, a tough run in transit, and ran second. He's come back and trained on beautifully. He'll love 1400m and he'll love Flemington."
McEvoy's Australian Guineas placegetter Bring Me Roses is Sydney-bound on Tuesday night, preparing to head back to fillies-and-mares grade in the G1 Coolmore Classic after finishing just two lengths off Grunt in the $1m Guineas on Saturday.
"I expected she'd feel it a little bit, but she hasn't left an oat and is bouncing around feeling really good about herself," he said.
"It was a super performance.
"She goes to Sydney tonight, I'll fly up tonight and see her tomorrow and spend a day with her to see how she settles in.
"We're looking to run her in the Coolmore at this stage, which will lead her into the Vinery."