McEvoy to make Hong Kong application, says Hayes

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 February, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 February, 2005, 12:00am

Tony McEvoy, David Hayes' retained trainer in Australia, will be one of the applicants to fill the position his boss will create with his departure in June.

Hayes yesterday confirmed that McEvoy, who has won the titles of champion trainer in Melbourne and Adelaide since taking over from the late Peter Hayes in 2001, would definitely be submitting an application to the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

'I would love to see Tony get the opportunity to train in Hong Kong, but it's a decision that's out of my hands,' Hayes said, 'and I would never presume to suggest that I would have any influence over the licensing decision anyway.

'Tony has done a wonderful job at Lindsay Park since Peter's death - he's won an enormous number of races, he's won an Oaks and he's won our greatest race, the Cox Plate (Fields of Omagh, 2003].

'But if he does not get invited to Hong Kong, then he has already committed to me that he will stay at Lindsay Park and become my assistant. So I'll be the lucky one, having a top-class trainer as my assistant.'

Jockey Club executive director of racing, Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, said the club appreciated Hayes giving such early notice of his intended departure. 'Replacing someone of his profile and stature will not be easy, but at least we have time to look around and do some recruiting,' Engelbrecht-Bresges said. 'I expect we would be in a position to make a recommendation to the racing committee in four to six weeks.'