Leading horse trainer Tony McEvoy admits a move to Ballarat is on the radar should he not be able to secure more room at his Flemington base.
McEvoy told The Courier he has been seriously considering a shift to the country surrounds of the Ballarat Turf Club, but a staffing issue has stalled his immediate plans.
While admitting the move is currently on the back-burner, McEvoy did concede things could quickly change should he not gain more boxes at Flemington.
McEvoy also has a training base in South Australia.
“I’m very serious about getting more boxes. It’s going to be too restrictive for me to not have more boxes, so it’s a matter of where those boxes become available really,” McEvoy said.
“I’ve asked (the Victoria Racing Club) for some more boxes and I’m not sure what’s going to happen there, but they said they’ll come back to me.”
McEvoy has even had a tour of the Ballarat facilities, which he said are beautiful for training.
He said his preference is to remain at Flemington, but is likely to move his entire Melbourne-based operation elsewhere should the extra boxes not eventuate.
McEvoy, who works in partnership with businessman Wayne Mitchell, is fresh off a group 1 Australian Guineas success at the weekend thanks to star three-year-old Hey Doc.
The horse’s impressive win in the $750,000 feature at Flemington was McEvoy’s first at the elite level since starting his own training operation in 2010.
A long-time lieutenant with Lindsay Park, McEvoy had a stint as head trainer at that facility when David Hayes moved to Hong Kong.
During that period of time McEvoy prepared three group 1 winners – including a Cox Plate with Fields Of Omagh – before relinquishing the position when Hayes made his return to Australia.
Meanwhile, Ballarat Turf Club is preparing for the second leg of its racing double-header.
The club conducted an eight-race program on Tuesday and will back that up with eight more events on Wednesday.
The next meeting at the venue is scheduled for Tuesday, March 21, with another booked for Sunday, March 26.