DUBAI // Kerrin McEvoy said the Darley Australia team have left no stone unturned in their first foray into international competition on Saturday night when Sepoy and Helmet take to the Tapeta at Meydan Racecourse.
The pair will compete in the Dubai Golden Shaheen and UAE Derby, respectively, and have settled in well at the international stables since arriving in the emirates 16 days ago.
Sepoy and Helmet will race in the Royal blue colours of Godolphin despite being trained in Australia by Peter Snowden, who has meticulously planned the arrival and training programme of his two stable stars.
"Peter went over to have a look around Dubai a few weeks ago and met Simon Crisford and the Godolphin team," McEvoy said.
"He has manufactured a plan to attack it. He knows these horses inside out and has got a feel for the surroundings in order get an idea of what to expect."
McEvoy is no stranger to Dubai World Cup night and lists his victory on Blues And Royals in the 2005 UAE Derby as one of his career highlights and is looking forward to entering the winners' enclosure on his first night of competitive action at Meydan.
Sepoy had won 10 of his 12 starts before finishing out of the frame for the first time in the Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield last month.
The sprinter was looking as if he was going to smash the weight carrying record of Fastnet Rock, set in 2005, but was reeled in during an agonising final 50 metres that saw him placed fifth.
"It was more a case of he was unable to carry a big load," McEvoy said.
"Peter and the Darley team have aimed to get him ready for the Golden Shaheen, and no doubt he will improve for that outing.
"He had some solid work at home and will have another decent piece of work so will be in tip top shape. He is quite a nuggety, well-built horse, but he's not very tall at all. He's a power-packed little guy, and has a nice stride on him when he's moving. What he lacks in height he makes up in strength."