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Ear muffs to help Hey Doc in G1 WFA race

Trainer Tony McEvoy is looking to ear muffs to have the desired effect on Australian Guineas winner Hey Doc when he chases a second Group One win at Flemington.

Hey Doc finished fourth in the $1 million Memsie Stakes (1400m) last start at Caulfield when he over-raced in the middle stages, after which McEvoy decided on the gear change for Saturday's Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).

"The thing that I've always wanted him to do better was to relax a bit more in his races," McEvoy said.

"In the Memsie when the natural leader (Charmed Harmony) was taken out and they went at a steady tempo, it showed he didn't want a change in tempo.

"If you're going to be a weight-for-age horse you've got to have the ability to adapt and change, so I'm hoping the ear muffs will help him."

Ear muffs help dull the noise around the horses and McEvoy said it can keep them in a more even state.

Trainer Chris Waller opted to put them on champion Winx in her most recent win after she missed the start in the Warwick Stakes first-up this campaign.

Winx will wear them again in Saturday's George Main Stakes.

"There's been some really good results with them and I thought it was time for him to try them," McEvoy said.

"He's accepted them very well (in trackwork)."

Hey Doc's outside barrier and also a possibility of another race without a noted leader might not be ideal according to McEvoy but he said that was a job for jockey Luke Currie.

"I didn't like the barrier," McEvoy said.

"Our main aim is to get the horse relaxed in the race and how Luke elects to do that is going to be his decision.

"The horse is as good as he can be and if Luke is as good as he can be, hopefully they'll work it out."

Hartnell headlines the star-studded field and is the $1.75 favourite after his dominant P B Lawrence Stakes win last month.

Black Heart Bart is at $5.50 with Le Romain $9.

Hey Doc ($12) has won his past three Flemington starts, including the Group One Australian Guineas.

"I thought his Memsie run was really good and I didn't lose any faith in him," McEvoy said.

"This is a super race, but I'm very happy with the horse.

"I think he'll run a very competitive race again but it will be all be up to how he handles himself on the day."