McEvoy looking at the future with Martian

Convinced Martian has the makings of a quality stayer, Tony McEvoy plans to use this year’s spring carnival to boost the import’s rating.

Martian steps up sharply in distance to 2400-metres when he lines up for his third Australian start in Saturday’s Listed Harry White Classic at Sandown.

McEvoy is hoping the race can be a stepping stone to bigger staying features this spring.

The trainer is keen to aim the gelding at the Queen Elizabeth Stakes during Melbourne Cup week with the Sandown Cup (3200m) another spring option.

He believes they are realistic targets given the lightly raced import has a handicapper’s rating of only 72.

“The whole preparation is about building his rating and then next year he could come back and run in the Sydney Cup in the autumn,” McEvoy said.

The five-year-old only raced three times in England before joining McEvoy’s team and he impressed his trainer with his close second over 1800m at Rosehill last start.

“He really has the makings of a nice stayer,” McEvoy said.

“He’s only lightly raced and the other day at Rosehill he just stepped a bit slow from the gates and got one or two spots further back than we wanted him to be.

“When they quickened they outsped him a little bit at the top of the straight but he built great momentum to the line and (jockey) Kerrin (McEvoy) loved him.”

The trainer is convinced the 600m distance rise in the space of two weeks is no concern for Martian, who will be ridden by Damian Lane.

“He’s got the miles in his legs to do it,” McEvoy said.

“And it’s getting the horse into the zone that he needs to be in.”

McEvoy acknowledged Martian would be taking on more seasoned rivals on Saturday but he believed the horse had the staying promise to be in the mix.

The Chris Waller-trained Mulaqen is favourite at $4.80 with Martian sharing the second line of betting at $5.50 with Unchain My Heart.



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