Tony McEvoy will send Sunlight to The Valley this week to exorcise any lingering mental demons as the star filly shapes to add Friday night’s Group 1 William Reid Stakes to a bulging portfolio.
Twice victorious at the highest level, the Coolmore Stakes and Newmarket Handicap winner had no luck on her only visit to the family, finishing seventh in an interference-laden Manikato Stakes last spring.
Aware the filly might harbour negative memories of racing at The Valley, McEvoy will use the gallop to help Sunlight build confidence at the course.
“I’m going to take her to Moonee Valley on Monday morning just to give her a nicer experience than she had the last time she went there,” McEvoy said.
“If you remember in the Manikato she got knocked from pillar to post, she will have bad memories of the place.
“I just want her to cruise around and enjoy the morning and and then she is on track for Friday night.
“I galloped her twice there before the Manikato. I think she will be absolutely fine at the track.
“It just it got taken out of her hands in the Manikato.”
McEvoy said Sunlight had come out of her brilliant Newmarket performance in excellent shape.
“She’s great, she’s in fantastic order,” he said. “I’m in awe of her.
“I think she is one of the greats. That’s no emotion in that.
“I just think for a three-year-old filly to go out there and run 10.47 (secs), 10.5, 10.57, 10.82 and doing it all from the front.
“How many horses can do that? She’s a superstar.”
McEvoy will send Sunlight to either Sydney or Adelaide after the William Reid Stakes.
One option is the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick on April 6, depending on track conditions.
Other options include the Goodwood Handicap on April 19 or the Robert Sangster Stakes on May 4, both at Morphettville.
McEvoy is already contemplating a shot at The Everest in the spring.