The McEvoy stable is excited to test sprinter Bill Boxer in the Saturday class at the final race at Flemington on Saturday.
Coach Tony McAvoy still doesn’t know why Bill Boxer isn’t invincible.
Bill Boxer won five of his six starts in an impressive start to his career, but McAvoy couldn’t find a reason for the gelding’s only loss when he held up well at Sandown in January.
“I don’t know why he got beat up and he was in shock that day too,” said McAvoy, who trains Bill Boxer in partnership with his son Calvin.
“Something went wrong.
“For a horse with a winning culture to win five out of six like his, he must have
pain in the gut or something.
The McAvoy stable named Bill the Boxer after this run, but the gelding showed that the January run was an aberration with three strong wins in varying conditions this time around.
Bill Boxer broke first on synthetic clay, then won on soft clay at Swan Hill and lost for the last time on the hard track at Sundown.
McAvoy said it was time to test Bill Boxer in Saturday class in the LV Lachal Handicap (1200m) at Flemington.
“He’s building a good little streak of runs and now it’s time to move on to the big smoke,” McAvoy said.
“We didn’t have any plans, we just took him with us, placed him very well and let him build this palisade.
“Now it’s time to change paths with him.”
Bill Boxer will get his first shot at Benchmark 84 in Saturday’s $130,000 challenge.
It will also be the first time he’s made the straight Flemington course.
But McAvoy said that Bill Boxer would create more opportunities if he extended his winning streak to four.
“If he wins on Saturday, it will open up a lot more opportunities for him,” McAvoy said.
“I wish it was near the turn, but it isn’t.
“Who knows? He could be great on the straight.”
McAvoy said the stable would not get carried away if Bill Boxer won again at Flemington on Saturday, preferring to stick with the plan, which always involved a $22,000 purchase.
“It’s July now, and June and July are far from October and November,” McEvoy said.
“We talk about it really, but he’s a really good canter and I wish there were more of them.
“He was just a little soft so we waited and waited and we were rewarded.”
Alan Kelly’s student will once again ride Bill Boxer in Flemington.
Bill Boxer rallied from $5 to $4 in the early TAB market during the last race on Saturday.
Originally published as Bill Boxer seeks Saturday knockout for McAvoy stable in Flemington