Outgoing Flemington trainers Tony and Calvin McEvoy open Ballarat stable and looking to start with a bang

Tony and Calvin McEvoy will be out of Flemington by the end of January, as the dual-state operation moves into its new Ballarat complex.

The purpose-built compound, able to house 100 horses, includes 66 boxes, 30 yards and an 80m shed, which has two 20-horse walkers, 24 tie-ups, two treadmills inside and fixed wash bays.

A big part of the passion project, several years in the making, was to create a space which “flows”, allowing the stable to train and exercise a large amount of horses in a timely manner.

“When you’ve got 100 horses, which is what we’re going to get to, in time, and we’re going to take our time getting there, you need a yard that flows,” Calvin said.

“It’s designed for that and seems to be working so far, it’s really excited.

“I’m sitting in the office right now looking over the complex and … it’s all right there.”

The new McEvoy Mitchell stable opened with 13 horses this week, with a plan to empty Flemington before downsizing the South Australian — Angaston — operations.

“The horses have settled in fantastic, look, it’s a wonderful facility we have been able to design with the help of Ballarat Turf Club, it’s just a beautiful place,” Calvin said.

“Taking to the new tracks well, and I’m really enjoying it too, I’m loving what I’m seeing, it’s a really vibrant and thriving place to train horses, Ballarat.”

Ballarat will replace Angaston as the “main base”, with the SA property to become more of a nursery for the young and inexperienced stock.

“A lot more time will be spent on our younger horses over there, getting them ready, getting them educated on that beautiful property that‘s always worked with young horses,” Calvin said.

Leaving Flemington was not a decision taken lightly, but the opportunity to build and blend the best of city and country training practices weighed heavily in Ballarat’s favour.

Star Turn colt Pegasi got the Ballarat yard to a perfect start, with an all-the-way win at Geelong on Friday.

Calvin hopes Flemington runners Over Exposure and Coolth will follow suit on Saturday.

“We’ve really kept him (Coolth) stimulated by bringing him down here (Ballarat) a couple times, saddling him up and having a gallop up the hill track,” McEvoy said.

“He hasn’t moved here completely, I just wanted to keep him at Flemington because I wanted him to go to the beach, but he’s done a really good job, thrived and trained on.

“He looks fit and ready to go with the blinkers going on.”

Coolth must overcome the fancied Long Arm in Race 8 at Flemington, but Over Exposure looks set to start a strongly fancied favourite after a luckless third last start at Headquarters.

“Damian Lane, who I’d say is a pretty composed, level-headed jockey and doesn’t get too excited too often, got off him and said look, ‘he should have won by two or three lengths’,” Calvin said.

“He got a bit further back than we thought and this was Damian’s words, ‘zigged when should’ve zagged’.

“It was an eye-catching run, now up to the mile, he’s fit and ready to go, he’ll be very hard to beat.”

Originally published asPerfect start for Ballarat digs, McEvoys eye Flemington double

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