World-class Australian sprinters head to Sydney's Royal Randwick racecourse this weekend for Australia's newest and biggest horse-racing event: the inaugural running of The TAB Everest, the richest turf race in the world. This major G1 race features 12 horses nominated by slot owners who have paid $600,000 AUD ($467,000) to secure a slot – and, more importantly, it boasts a $10 million AUD ($7.8 million) purse.
Run over 6 furlongs at 4:15 pm Sydney time this Saturday, Oct. 14th (1.15 am EDT, or 10:15 pm PDT on Friday, Oct. 13th), this showcase weight-for-age sprint includes seven individual G1 winners. Among other champions, the field features Chautauqua, ‘The Grey Flash' who triumphed in the last three G1 T.J. Smith Stakes, helping him rank 9th in the Longines international racehorse rankings, as well as She Will Reign, winner of the G1 Golden Slipper Stakes at Sydney's Rosehill back in March.
Both horses are looking to make history as the first-ever Everest winner. She Will Reign, who will be ridden by 2009 Melbourne Cup-winning jockey Corey Brown, is current favorite with 18/5 odds to win, though Chautauqua is close behind at 5/1.
She Will Reign showed that she is a classy sprinter over 6 furlongs after smashing the 2017 Golden Slipper on a muddy surface. Whether or not the track will have the forecasted showers this Saturday, the Gary Portelli-trained filly already proved that she can handle wet and dry conditions after triumphing in the G1 Moir Stakes, her last start out back in September.
But Chautauqua could be more at home on the Everest course and distance, given his hat-trick in the 6 furlong T.J. Smith Stakes at Randwick. While he missed the mark in the last two runs with his new rider Brenton Avdulla, trainers Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes believe that he is in fine form to take charge of the race. The good barrier draw for both horses – 5 for Chautauqua and 2 for She Will Reign – also favors their chances of winning.
However, the race remains open when the field includes former WA sprinter Vega Magic. His victory at the G1 Memsie Stakes in Melbourne last month completes four successful last starts. His other first finishes include the G1 Goodwood in Morphettville over the same distance as the Everest as well as wins in the G3 A.J. Scahill Stakes in Perth and Lister Regal Roller Stakes in Melbourne. Even though he'll be jumping from a wide gate (10), fans of this muscular colt are still eager to take a chance on him and jockey Craig Williams, with 9/2 odds to win.
Four other horses in the field have also drawn favorable barriers for a good start – Houtzen (1), Redkirk Warrior (3), Redzel (4), and Deploy (7). These horses like to be up front on the lead out of the starting gate. However, if they set a strong pace early on in the race, this could set it up for a backmarker like Chautauqua or even the Gai Waterhouse-trained English (12, on the outside barrier) to contest their leads and take the race.
Houtzen has drawn right next to her 2017 Golden Slipper rival She Will Reign, with the 3-year-old filly looking to more than redeem her 5th place in March with the even greater glory of an Everest win. Redzel has a string of wins from his last starts, two of which he picked up at Randwick, and achieved a good pre-Everest trial.
Meanwhile, the Gerald Ryan-trained Deploy has had a relatively lukewarm response from bookmakers (9/1). But it shouldn't be forgotten that he has claimed seven of his past nine starts, including a record-setting finish over the Everest's distance at Randwick last month.
Fans can get free PPs and analyze the full Everest race card at Sky Racing World. Sky Racing's Jason Witham and TVG's Candice Hare will be broadcasting live from Randwick on TVG1 and TVG2. American fans can also live-stream and wager on the Everest at ADWs such as TVG, TwinSpires, Xpressbet, NYRA Bets, HPIbet, WatchandWager, BetAmerica, and AmWager.
To further celebrate the Everest, Sky Racing World has partnered with Daily Racing Form for a free online handicapping contest, The Everest Tournament, taking place Friday night, Oct. 13th. Winners will receive a free trip worth $6,000 to Australia for Day 1 of The Championships at Randwick on Saturday, April 7th, 2018.
About David Haslett
A former Managing Director of Sportech Racing, David was appointed President and CEO of Sky Racing World in April 2014. The Louisville, Kentucky-based company, a subsidiary of Australian wagering firm Tabcorp, provides Australian, South African and South Korean racing content for simulcast horse-race wagering to multiple North America-facing ADW brands and race-tracks.
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