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McEvoy and Despatch look to follow in footsteps of Santa Ana Lane

By Glenn Davis

Tony McEvoy’s Group 1 Goodwood Handicap winner Despatch will chase a slice of history in the TAB Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

McEvoy will saddle up Despatch, winner of last months’ Group 1 Goodwood Handicap in Adelaide and Dollar For Dollar in the $1.5 million feature.

Only one horse, Santa Ana Lane, has won the Goodwood-Stradbroke Handicap double when the Anthony Freedman-trained sprinter was successful last year.

Only five horses in the past 30 years have contested the double with Black Heart Bart the only placegetter in 2016.

Santa Ana Lane and Despatch have similar form leading into the Stradbroke.

Santa Ana Lane was unlucky third in last year’s Group 3 Mackay Stakes at Morphettville before claiming the Goodwood Handicap while Despatch won the Mackay Stakes before claiming Adelaide’s feature sprint.

McEvoy has a slight preference for Despatch over Dollar For Dollar.

“Dollar For Dollar has gone close to winning a Group 1 when just beaten in last year’s Sir Rupert Clarke at Caulfield but just hasn’t got one yet,” McEvoy said.

“They’re both in well but Despatch is coming off a high after his Goodwood win while Dollar For Dollar is coming off a low after running below his best in the Kingsford-Smith.”