The next champion of the world's richest race on turf will be crowned this Friday night in the AU$13 million (US$9 million) TAB Everest at Royal Randwick racecourse. The Everest is a wide-open betting affair (6/1 the field) with the world's best sprinters, like last year's winner Redzel, Trapeze Artist and the Aidan O'Brien-trained U S Navy Flag, contesting the race.
The weight-for-age sprint, contested over six furlongs, starts at 4:15 p.m. in Sydney (1:15 a.m. EDT, or 10:15 p.m. PDT on Friday, Oct. 12) and is Race 7 on the ten-race card. Other features include the; G3 Sydney Stakes, G3 Craven Plate and Kosciuszko.
To celebrate the race, Sky Racing World has invited 12 prominent industry personalities from North America to participate in the ‘Climbing Everest' promotion in which each is assigned a gate/horse. The winning horse will earn the corresponding participant US$5000 to be donated to a charity of their choosing.
The TAB Everest
To repeat as champion, 2017 winner Redzel will need to best last year's other two place-getters – Vega Magic and Brave Smash – as well as early favorite Trapeze Artist on what is expected to be a wet track. The US will be cheering right along with Australians this year as the race welcomes the first international runner – US-bred, Aidan O'Brien-trained U S Navy Flag.
Brave Smash (12/1) will start from gate 4 – last year's starting position for eventual winner Redzel. FanDuel will be hoping that history repeats itself as a win would reward their selected charity – Anna House. Brave Smash will have on his back the world's best jockey, Hugh Bowman, who recently rode Winx to her 28th straight Group 1 win at the Turnbull Stakes.
Redzel (6/1) is the highest rated horse in the field and will be up front in gate 1. In addition to drawing the inside alley, the defending champion also comes in having just won the G3 Concorde Stakes. TVG's Britney Eurton will be among those cheering for Redzel as a win would reward her nominated charity – New Vocations.
“I feel very privileged to have an opportunity to be part of a world-renowned event like The Everest by participating in Climbing Everest, a promotion that will help benefit a deserving charity. I'm also quite thrilled to have drawn Redzel and hope we can get a big win for the team at New Vocations,” Eurton said.
Donna Brothers (NBC) and her charity Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, will look to Trapeze Artist (6/1) who will occupy gate 6. The early favorite for the Everest ran fourth to Santa Ana Lane in last week's lead up race, the Premiere Stakes, but has since moved back up to the top of the markets after Tuesday's barrier draws.
The runner-up in last year's Everest, Vega Magic (6/1), had a brilliant win in the G3 Bletchingly Stakes and will look for a similar performance when he exits from gate 7 as a joint favorite. A win would reward Woodbine's chosen charity – LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society.
Candice Hare (TVG) and charity, Living Legends, were awarded gate 2 and the race's fourth equal favorite Shoals (6/1). Trained by Anthony Freedman, Shoals is a triple Group 1 winner who proved her Everest potential as a runner-up in the G2 premiere Stakes.
Fresh from a record-breaking victory in the G2 Premiere Stakes, Santa Ana Lane (7/1) will line up in gate 9, hoping to surmount the quartet of 6/1 favorites favored ahead of him. A win would also benefit the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, nominated by Marcus Hersh from the Daily Racing Form.
U S Navy Flag (8/1) will star for Ireland after becoming the first horse in 35 years to claim both the Middle Park Stakes and the Dewhurst Stakes in the UK. Primed by the Melbourne Cup and Cox Plate winning duo of trainer Aidan O'Brien and jockey Ryan Moore, U S Navy Flag will look to turn gate 3 into the winning stall for Paulick Report's Ray Paulick and his beneficiary, the Edwin J. Gregson Foundation.
After failing to make an appearance last year, In Her Time (10/1) will look to make her first Everest a memorable one starting from gate 8. The Kris Lees-trained mare earned redemption in last year's consolation race, the Sydney Stakes, where she topped Redzel's winning Everest time. Jonathan Lintner (Horse Racing Nation) will be watching In Her Time on behalf of nominated charity Old Friends Farm.
With Home of the Brave, the Godolphin stable's original entry, ruled out, another James Cummings-trained entry, Osborne Bulls (16/1), will head out from gate 5 for TVG and their charity, Carma. Viddora (14/1) holds gate 12 and will be cheered on by Keeneland's Kurt Becker and his beneficiary, Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.
Twinspires and KY Equine Humane Center hope gate 11 will be their lucky barrier, as it will be occupied by the talented weight-for-age performer Le Romain (20/1). Michael Wrona (Santa Anita) and Myasthenia Gravis Association of QLD represent gate 10 from which Graff (16/1) will jump from.
Country horses will be rubbing shoulders with Everest contenders in a brand-new support card, The Kosciuszko on the same day. Getting underway at 2:50 p.m. Sydney time (11:50 p.m. EDT, and 8:50 p.m. PST on Friday, Oct. 12), the field of 12 horses will vie for a share of the AU$1.3 million (US$900 000) prize.
The Jenny Graham-trained Awesome Pluck will be replacing early favorite, Care to Think, after the Doomben 10,000 and Kingsford-Smith Cup contender was ruled out with an elevated temperature. This opens the door for Country Championships winner Victorem, another one of Graham's horses, as well as The Monstar, which was third in the Missile Stakes.
The day's first race set for 12:30 p.m. Sydney time on Saturday (9:30 p.m. EDT, or 6:30 p.m. PDT on Friday, Oct.12th). Audiences will be able to watch the entire 10-race card live on TVG as Candice Hare (TVG) and Jason Witham (SRW) will broadcast live from Randwick.
Handicappers are also able to live-stream and wager at ADW platforms such as TVG, TwinSpires, Xpressbet, NYRABets, WatchandWager, HPIbet, AmWager, and BetAmerica. Free past performances and expert picks on all races are available at skyracingworld.com.
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