Thu, Oct 12, 3:55pm by Head Editor
It’s a somewhat historic day at Randwick this Saturday with the inaugural running of The Everest – a $10 million race with $5.8m going to the winner. This is the third meeting in a row at Randwick with the rail out six-metres and for the first time in a long time, rain fell in Sydney during the week although the track will most likely still be in the good range.
When The Everest was announced, there were mixed reactions to it but it has been building great momentum since that time and it’s a highly anticipated event. A field of 12 will line up in the race to be run at Weight for Age conditions.
A winner of six Group 1’s with five of those over 1200m and three at Randwick, Chautauqua ($5.50) has been near the top of betting since markets opened. His first-up run was eye-catching when storming through the line but his second run back was slightly inconclusive when off the bit early and looking like he was struggling, only to finish strongly when sixth of 11 – beaten 3L – behind In Her Time in the G2 Premiere stakes (1200m). He’s become a ‘Grand Final’ specialist and will no doubt peak come race day.
English ($11) was a touch disappointing when first-up this campaign and many were questioning whether she was just an ‘autumn’ horse. She dispelled that theory with a strong effort last start when second to In Her Time, flashing home from ninth at the 400m to within a nose on the post.
Team Hayes/Dabernig have three runners in the race with Vega Magic ($5) and Redkirk Warrior ($9) both unbeaten this campaign. Vega Magic has won 12 from 17 in total and two Group 1’s from his last three starts, and he’s had strong support during the week. Redkirk Warrior has only had the one run this prep and that was a strong win in the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis (1200m) down the Flemington straight – a track and distance he also won first-up in the autumn when taking out the G1 Newmarket. Formality ($61) is the third of the Hayes/Daberning trio and she is one of three fillies in the race.
She Will Reign ($4.80) got tongues wagging when she returned as a three-year-old against the older horses in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) – a race she won by a nose after being well back on the turn. A Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) winner, she’s only been defeated once in her six career starts – and she was second on that occasion. Houtzen ($26) is the third filly in the race and she comes off a last start win at Moonee Valley in much lesser grade but there is some support for her at odds.
Redzel ($7.50) is in hot form, winning his last four starts – two this campaign and two before a break – with one G1, a G2 and two G3’s amongst those wins. Deploy ($11) is eyeing three straight wins himself and gained a slot in The Everest off the back of some track records here at Randwick.
Clearly Innocent ($14) was one of the last runners to gain a slot in the race and he’s second-up after an encouraging third to In Her Time when resuming – and he’s always better second-up. Brave Smash ($34) made his Australian debut with a fast finishing second to Vega Magic in the Listed Regal Roller (1200m) although his last two runs haven’t exactly set the world on fire but he does get the use of blinkers on Saturday while Fell Swoop ($61) was one of the early runners to gain a slot – and while he’s a consistent horse in the top grade, he’s been out of the winner’s circle since April 2016.
Suggested Bet: In a wide race with many chances, going to stick with Chautauqua ($5.50) who is great odds given his credentials. He hasn’t troubled the winners in his first two runs this campaign but Team Hawkes have set him for this race and this race only. The drop of rain during the week might even help him and at the current odds he’s almost worth an each-way ticket. He’ll be running on late – hopefully not too late.
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