Winning Partner to return to winning form at Pakenham

While Winning Partner has won seven races for Tony and Calvin McEvoy, the father-and-son training team are hoping the gelding can break a drought in Victoria.

Winning Partner won the first two of his seven wins in Victoria back in the 2018-19 season as a three-year-old, while the remaining five of his victories have been in South Australia.

Among those wins are back-to-back Balaklava Cup successes – 2020 and 21 – along with last year’s Murray Bridge Cup.

Winning Partner gets his chance to return to winning form in Victoria in the VOBIS Gold Bullion (1400m) at Pakenham on Saturday.

Since his last success on Victorian soil at Sandown in February 2019, Winning Partner has raced in the state on 12 occasions, registering three seconds.

The latest of those came at his last start when beaten a short-head by Wicklow Town at The Valley on Cox Plate Eve.

“He has freshened up very, very well,” Calvin McEvoy said.

“But it’s a bit different coming back in trip for him.

“He’s a horse that we were pressing on towards going up in trip, but he’s freshened up very well and it looks a good race for him.”

While Yulong January carries the number one saddlecloth and has a clear ratings advantage over Winning Partner and they carry the same weight, Yulong January is resuming while Winning Partner has residual fitness.

McEvoy concedes Yulong January will be hard to beat but feels under the conditions of the race Winning Partner is well off.

“He’s carrying 59kg being a 92-rater and there’s a couple of 66 raters that are carrying two kilos less than him, so I feel he’s in the right race,” McEvoy said.

“He’s in the right form and hopefully he can get the job done for some nice VOBIS prize money.”

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