It has taken a long time but trainer Tony McEvoy believes lightly raced gelding More Than Ever is finally starting to fulfil his staying potential.
The five-year-old has been restricted to 10 starts with McEvoy saying he had not been able to get him out to the distances he had wanted to in previous campaigns because of niggling issues.
But McEvoy has been able to extend the gelding's campaign this time around and off the back of two-straight wins in Adelaide over 2000m and 2400m, the trainer has now brought More Than Ever to Melbourne for Saturday's Chandler MacLeod Handicap (2500m) at The Valley.
More Than Ever is favourite to make it a winning hat-trick in the A$135,000 benchmark-78 race.
"He's been really hard work, this horse," McEvoy said.
"He's shown us a lot of talent but he just used to keep going sore on us and I couldn't get to him.
"The owners have been extremely patient and hung in there and they are showing the benefits of that now.
"He has just come solid now as an older horse.
"We bought him as a stayer and it's just recently that I've been able to get him out to those distances and he has relished it.
"He has always shown me Melbourne Saturday talent but I've never been able to get him there because of his immaturity."
More Than Ever travelled over to McEvoy's Melbourne stable earlier this week.
"He's very sound and very fit and in form," the trainer said.
"I think this will be his best run of the preparation.
"That's what he's been showing me. He's just got to be able to get around Moonee Valley but I'm hopeful he will."
More Than Ever, who was purchased out of Trelawney Stud's 2016 Inglis Easter draft, was bred by Raffles Dancers who race him under their Raffles Racing banner in partnership with a group of owners including Newhaven Park. -AAP