Thoroughbred racing is about winners and the records show, in racing parlance, Tony McEvoy is a Group 1 performer. That lasting success, over 34 years, has ensured that McEvoy Mitchell Racing has become a major player in Australian racing. Together with Yarrawonga (Vic) businessman Wayne Mitchell, McEvoy operates the 93 hectare (229 acre) Kildalton Park at Angaston in South Australia.
Kildalton Park (SA), formerly known as ‘Raceside’, was part of the late Colin Hayes’ Lindsay Park complex. The company also aquired Hayes’ spelling property at Murbko (near Blanchetown) on the River Murray in South Australia.
The Tony McEvoy success story is founded on the strong country values instilled in him in his home town of Streaky Bay in the late 1960’s – particularly loyalty and work ethic. These were key traits in his 33-year association with the Hayes family at Lindsay Park. McEvoy came across to Lindsay Park as an apprentice in 1975 and he quickly made his mark riding in excess of 100 winners in a short time but increasing weight forced his retirement.
Colin Hayes’ judgment of both horses and people was legendary and when the apprentice’s riding career ended he had no hesitation employing him in the training side and McEvoy was made pre-training foreman in 1982. In 1984 he was promoted to travelling foreman and then to stable foreman for Colin Hayes from 1988 to 1990. He became assistant trainer to David Hayes when he took over the reins at Lindsay Park. When David left to train in Hong Kong in 1995 and Peter Hayes became Lindsay Park’s head trainer, McEvoy remained as the assistant.
Tragically, Peter passed away in a light plane crash in March 2001. Tony McEvoy’s reputation within the Lindsay Park ranks was such that he was appointed as head trainer, a position he held until David’s return from Hong Kong in 2005. The Lindsay Park stable did not miss a beat with McEvoy at the helm - winning four Adelaide trainers’ premierships along with one in Melbourne, preparing a total of 927 winners (at a strike rate of 14.7%) and amassing $26,700,000 in stakemoney including 74 Group and Listed races.
McEvoy famously trained Fields of Omagh to his first win of Australia’s weight-for-age classic the W S Cox Plate in 2003 soon after travelling with North Boy to Singapore for victory in the 2002 Krisflyer Sprint at Kranji racecourse.
In December 2002 McEvoy trained 42 winners in the month, equalling the best result for Lindsay Park in the operation’s history. From August 1, 2001 to January 31, 2002, McEvoy produced 164 winners; Lindsay Park’s best ever start to a racing season.
Despite his outstanding record whilst in charge, McEvoy declined numerous invitations to branch out on his own. When David Hayes returned from Hong Kong, in a characteristic display of loyalty, Tony returned to the position of assistant trainer. With the Hayes’ camp later moving to Euroa, McEvoy was preparing to a shift to the ‘new’ Lindsay Park with wife Jo and children Eliza and Calvin in 2011 when in stepped friend Wayne Mitchell.
Mitchell was looking for a suitable thoroughbred property and decided on the Lindsay Park Raceside facility – with one condition, Tony McEvoy had to stay and be the trainer and his partner! With David Hayes’ blessing, McEvoy jumped at the chance and began training in his own right on a property he had worked on for 33 years. A testimony to McEvoy’s pivotal role in Lindsay Park’s 30 year domination of Adelaide & Melbourne racing was offered by Hayes who observed “I’m not exaggerating when I say that Tony, as a rider, foreman and trainer has had a hand in the majority of Lindsay Park’s winners.”
The McEvoy Mitchell Racing team debuted with their first runners at the South Australian provincial track of Balaklava in August 2010 and had a winner with the stable’s second runner.
Tony has become one of Australia's Leading Trainers. The McEvoy 2yo exploits over the last 3 Seasons has seen him become recognised as the foremost conditioner of young horses in the land. Headed by Magic Millions Winner SUNLIGHT, the 2017/18 Season has been a great one for the McEvoy. The older brigade are headed by Dual Gr 1 Winner HEY DOC and classy 3yo's ROYAL SYMPHONY and BRING ME ROSES.