Kerrin McEvoy has rode plenty of staying three-year-olds in his time in Europe and Tupac Amaru gives him the feel of a young horse which will run the two miles of the Sydney Cup at Randwick on Saturday.
Darley rarely has staying types but the son of Street Cry showed plenty of strength at the end of the Australian Derby when he beat all but Criterion.
He had run fifth in the Victoria Derby and McEvoy says he had been encouraged by his effort down the track in the Randwick Guineas and Rosehill Guineas.
“The race at Rosehill was messy and didn’t really give us any indication about him, but at Randwick before that he was strong through the line and gave me the feel of a stayer, even though it was a mile,” McEvoy said.
“We were able to ride him a bit strong in the Derby and he showed the talent we knew he had.
“I was actually left wandering [in front] a long out from home, about the 400 metres, but once he spotted Criterion in the last 100m he rallied again. It was a strong staying effort.
“At 800m I didn’t think he would tow me into the Derby like he did, so I was left out there in front sooner than I would have liked.
“Everything points to him running a good race over two miles, albeit against older horses.”
Tupac Amaru is on the limit for the Sydney Cup of 54 kilograms, which sets him a task against the some tough stayers.
McEvoy, however, believes he will hold his own.
“He is still learning his craft and is a strong stayer and Peter wouldn’t be running him if he wasn’t really happy with him,” he said. “He has only got 54, which isn’t that bad. But it is the fact he is weighted so closely to older horses that have done a lot more than him makes it tough.
“He is no star but he could be a Sydney or Brisbane Cup horse for us next year, he that sort of horse that just wants to stay.”
Tupac Amaru certainly has a class factor going on his two Derby runs and it was recognised by the Racing NSW handicapper
“He jumped up about 30 rating points from last week, Peter [Snowden] told me,” McEvoy said. “When you look at the rating he probably should be getting a lot more weight off them. I would think he should be about 50kg but I don’t know the handicapping system that well.
“It is almost a weight-for-age weight, so he will have to be good to win when you look at that.”
McEvoy believes another three-year-old, Sidestep, should be winning in the Royal Sovereign Stakes.
The winkers go back on Sidestep, which was runner-up in last year’s Golden Slipper. He laid in during the closing stage of his win in the Darby Munro, in which he carried 59kg. He is back to set weights on Saturday.
“I think Sidestep is good order and has drawn a nice barrier,” McEvoy said. “He is a smart horse and it looks a good race for him.”