by John Mucciolo
The A$13 million Everest is the world’s richest turf race. For the second year, the race will be held at Royal Randwick racecourse in Sydney, Australia, on October 13 and is resembles the Pegasus World Cup (G1) structure that is hosted by Gulfstream Park.
A total of 12 horses will enter the Everest, with each of those paying an A$600,000 entry fee (which can be used, sold or shared by the slot owner).
The lucrative turf sprint looks like a wide-open event with more than half of the field thought to have a legitimate chance of winning. Below is a quick look at each of the Everest runners.
REDZEL won the inaugural running of the race in 2017 and will aim for a repeat. Hugely popular six-year-old will be making the running from the start under the guidance of Kerrin McEvoy.
TRAPEZE ARTIST was the early favorite for the Everest but is not in razor-sharp form recently. Group-1 winning four-year-old still ranks amongst the leading sprinters in the Australia for trainer Gerald Ryan, who also conditioned his sire, the brilliant Snitzel.
VEGA MAGIC ran a gallant second in the 2017 Everest as the favorite and will hope to do one better this time around. James Harron trainee rolls into this race in supposedly great current form.
SHOALS is a Fastnet Rocket mare that left a fine impression with her Premiere runner-up performance. Explosive closing type is well set-up in an attempt to ‘climb the mountain’. She is fancied by many to win the race.
U S NAVY FLAG is a Group-1 winner at two and three for Aidan O’Brien. War Front colt bagged the Darley July Cup (Eng-G1) at Newmarket last time and makes a first venture Down Under. Regular rider Ryan Moore makes the trek.
SANTA ANA LANE has gotten better with age and owns a solid winning chance today. Seven-year-old picked up a pair of Group-1 tallies in 2017 and comes in off of a fine score in the Premiere S. (Aus-G2).
IN HER TIME gamely held third in the Premiere but could have her chances affected in a negative way with moisture in the ground. Group-1 heroine is classy and could surprise, though.
VIDDORA will take back and make one run in hopes of running down her foes. Six-year-old mare was victorious in the A. J. Moir S. (Aus-G1) in her preparation for the Everest.
BRAVE SMASH thrives on a ground with give to it and rates a longshot chance. Moir (Aus-G1) second-place finisher will have Hugh Bowman in the stirrups.
LE ROMAIN looks to be in a demanding spot on the distance cutback. Gelded son of Hard Spun is all class as a three-time Group-1 victor and loves Royal Randwick, though.
OSBORNE BULLS was a late replacement for Home of the Brave after that one scratched. Street Cry gelding will need to take a big step forward to have a say in the outcome today.
GRAFF faces a daunting task against his elders. Three-year-old also will cut back in distance and would be a surprise.
Be sure to support TwinSpires in Sky Racing’s ‘Climb the Everest’ charity event where we will be highlighting the Kentucky Equine Humane Center with gate 11 and Le Romain!