Can a three-year-old win the A$14 million Everest? Yes Yes Yes gave a record-breaking answer in Saturday’s third running of the world’s richest turf race at Randwick. Five-time Group 1 star Santa Ana Lane and Godolphin’s Trekking rattled home late, but the sophomore colt had made the decisive move in midstretch. Two-time defending champion Redzel tired to eighth.
Trained by Chris Waller of Winx fame and piloted by Glen Boss, forever associated with Makybe Diva, Yes Yes Yes was taking the plunge off a pair of seconds in his own division this preparation. But the son of hot young sire Rubick had impressed at two, and he was on an upward curve at the moment, getting much closer to Bivouac in the Golden Rose (G1) last out than in the Run to the Rose.
Waller believed he’d be poised to peak third off the layoff – so much so that he persuaded the consortium of owners including Coolmore to tackle an all-star cast of elders in the Everest. And Waller used his own slot in the Everest, a race restricted to representatives of the 12 entities who purchased a slot, for Yes Yes Yes. Reverting to about six furlongs, and adding blinkers, conjured up a new career best.
As expected, another Waller runner, Nature Strip, turned on the speed from the far outside post 12. Sunlight had gotten off to a flyer and led in the opening strides, but Nature Strip zoomed past and crossed over to the rail. Redzel was in a tracking position, while the early backmarkers included Yes Yes Yes, Santa Ana Lane, and Trekking.
Nature Strip continued to show the way in the stretch, but his ability to see out the trip at this level of competition was questionable. The final furlong told the tale as he could not hold off the onslaught of closers.
Yes Yes Yes worked out an ideal trip with new rider Boss, who drafted behind Classique Legend, tipped out in the stretch, and enjoyed clear sailing. Quickening brilliantly, the colt mowed down Nature Strip in a course-record 1:07.32.
Santa Ana Lane, the previous record holder in 1:07.45, had a trickier time weaving in traffic. The veteran flashed home once free, but came up a half-length shy. Trekking flew down the outside to finish third by the same margin. Nature Strip salvaged fourth by a neck from Pierata, who found room belatedly.
Classique Legend didn’t get much daylight in sixth. Next came Alizee; Redzel; In Her Time; Sunlight; Waller’s favored Arcadia Queen, who was in a forward spot turning for home but recoiled when having to check; and Coolmore’s Irish shipper Ten Sovereigns, who always found the pace too hot to cope.
Although it must be noted that Yes Yes Yes was receiving 12 pounds from his older male rivals, the weight break hadn’t helped Australian sophomores in the first two Everests. Their best previous result was fifth (Tulip in 2017 and Graff in 2018).
Yes Yes Yes won twice for now-banned trainer Darren Weir and transferred to the Waller academy midway through his juvenile season. In his debut for the yard, the bay scored a sharp win in the Todman (G2) and advanced to the Golden Slipper (G1), only to toil in seventh on soft ground. His resume now reads 8-4-3-0, A$6,625,450.
Bred by Arlington Park Racing in Australia, Yes Yes Yes sold for A$200,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. His dam, the Fantastic Light mare Sin Sin Sin, is a half-sister to Group 3 winner Hot as Hell, Hong Kong stakes scorer Craig’s Dragon, Group 2-placed stakes victor Flaming Hot, and to the dam of multiple Group 1 heroine and Everest rival In her Time.
Yes Yes Yes, from the first crop of Coolmore sire Rubick, has presumably reserved his own spot on the stallion roster one day.
Quotes from Racing New South Wales
Winning trainer Chris Waller: “There is so much at risk. You have to go to the owners in Coolmore plus the original owners as he wasn’t my horse. You have to suggest it can win an Everest, you can’t say you’re going to run second and third. Then you have to go to the slotholders to choose it.
“To tell you the truth it was an amazing feeling. Where we’ve been with Winx, where she took us has set us up for days like this. She took us on an emotional ride.”
Winning jockey Glen Boss: “I feel electric. I don’t know what to say. My body is on fire right now
“Thanks to Chris Waller for putting his faith in me. This beautiful colt right here. What are you worth now, champion?”
“He is quality. I galloped him last week. He gave me goosebumps last week and today he has given me electric shocks. I couldn’t believe the electronic turn of speed he showed.
“I was wary of these great sprinters, you can’t give them too much of a start. He flew.
“I had a very good plan in my head about what I wanted to do. Chris (Waller) was in my corner about how I wanted to ride the horse. I just wanted to be behind the gray horse (Classique Legend), somewhere around Nash (Rawiller), that was my plan.
“He was taking me everywhere I wanted to go. When I peeled out three and when I asked him, his turn of speed was of Group 1 quality only. Jeez he sprinted quickly. His sectionals will say that he did.’’
Jockey Mark Zahra on runner-up Santa Ana Lane: “He went super. The winner surprised me a bit how quickly it went. With the weight he put a little break on me. He ran really gallant my guy but I just couldn’t reel him in.”
Josh Parr who rode third-placer Trekking: “That was so much fun. He ran really well – well done to the team, they prepared him in fantastic order. I’m really excited and I didn’t even win the race.”
Jockey Tim Clark on fourth Nature Strip: “Wonderful effort. Obviously he ran them along and did a good job to be still kicking late. I just had to do a little bit of extra work early to clear them but he ran very well.”
Tommy Berry on his view aboard Pierata in fifth: “Just got held up until probably the 200 meters. Once he got out he was doing his best work late but the race was all over – all the horses in front of him already had their momentum. He’s run very well.”
Nash Rawiller who rode sixth-placer Classique Legend: “I was pretty luckless. I never got a run at all when I needed it. I was in a beautiful spot down the back. When Hughie (Bowman on Alizee) came up outside me it was too soon to come out and they were sort of pushing from the inside out. So I rode for luck as you would and I just didn’t get any.”
Hugh Bowman on Alizee in seventh: “She was a bit free in the early stages. I was hoping to follow Yes Yes Yes but I was going to have to wrestle to follow him. All credit to the winner, but she ran a race.”
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy on Redzel’s eighth: “I traveled nice but I was a little bit worried as soon as we straightened. When I asked him for an effort he was just even paced. He’s shown better than what he did today but it was still a gallant run.”
Brenton Avdulla who rode ninth In Her Time: “The result was a little bit disappointing but I didn’t think she ran too bad. We ended up in a good spot early but midrace James (McDonald on Arcadia Queen) wanted to force the issue and it just got us both out of our rhythm – we both struggled from then on.”
Jockey Luke Currie on Sunlight in 10th: “Disappointing. She was in a nice spot but didn’t come on.”
James McDonald on Arcadia Queen’s folding to 11th: “I was rapt the way she presented. She jumped well and got into a lovely position. I got a severe check at about the 300-meter mark and that put her out of business. Obviously she is a mare that needs a bit of space to wind into her race.”
Ryan Moore on the trailing Ten Sovereigns: “He was disappointing. He was never comfortable.”