Tough test for Calderon in G1 at Caulfield

Trainer Tony McEvoy will put Calderon up against Hartnell and Bonneval at his Australian debut in the Group One Caulfield Stakes.

October 12th, 5:00PM by AAP

With training bases at Angaston in South Australia and another at Flemington in Melbourne, Tony McEvoy has added another one in recent weeks.

McEvoy has been a regular visitor to Werribee racecourse where his European import Calderon has been residing in quarantine since arriving in Australia almost two weeks ago.

Calderon, who came to Australia as Steel Of Madrid, runs in Saturday’s Group One Caulfield Stakes.

A name change was required as there is a Steel Of Madrid, an Australian-bred four-year-old trained by Tony Noonan, already registered in Australia.

Ironically both are by Lope De Vega, the same sire as The Everest contender Vega Magic.

McEvoy said it was his son Calvin and a young bloodstock agent Will Johnson who found Calderon.

“Like all of us Australians we’re looking for good horses,” McEvoy said.

“I liked what they put in front of me so we went about buying the horse.

“I’m still learning about him but I’ve been out to Werribee half-a-dozen times since he’s been here and I like what I see.

“He’s well balanced, a deep, rich, strong stallion and I’m really looking forward to see what he can do for us.”

A look into Calderon’s form shows he’s been competitive up against some significant names in international racing.

“He’s got form around some of the best horses in the world, or right up there with the best in the world,” McEvoy said.

“I’m excited to have him in my stable and hopefully he likes Australia.”

Calderon hasn’t raced since finishing last in a small field at Windsor in July.

McEvoy is hopeful Calderon will put in a good performance over Saturday’s journey fresh, but does admit he’s facing a bit of a task.

“He’s just stepped off the plane and is taking on Hartnell and Bonneval straight up,” McEvoy said.

“It’s a tough old job but he’s going to be around for a few years and if he doesn’t get it right this year, I’m sure he will next year.”

Calderon is among third acceptances for the Cox Plate with a start dependent on his performance on Saturday.

A $16 chance, Calderon has been steady at that price since the market opened with Bonneval ($2.90) and Hartnell ($3.20) dominating betting.


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