The seventh edition of the now $20 million The Everest (1200m) is here this weekend with all 12 horses confirmed, the barrier draw completed and betting on the world’s richest turf race really starting to heat up.
Tuesday evening saw the official The Everest barriers announced with the Peter Moody & Katherine Coleman-trained I Wish I Win retaining favouritism at $4.80 despite drawing the inside alley.
Moody had been vocal about wanting an outside draw for the autumn’s Golden Eagle – TJ Smith Stakes champion, but jockey Luke Nolen will need to make his own luck now.
The galloper made a gallant return when a half-length beaten by Mr Brightside in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m).
He can quicken at the right time, presents fresh having been kept for this specific race since the Memsie, and should relish coming back to the six furlongs.
Equal in The Everest betting now at $4.80 through Ladbrokes is the Joe Pride-trained Think About It who comes into the event having won 10 of his 11 starts.
He was huge in the winter taking out the Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup – Stradbroke double in Brisbane and was equally as impressive fresh holding out Hawaii Five Oh off a rails run in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m).
The five-year-old son of So You Think returns to the same course and distance now with an ideal gate five draw, is undefeated second-up, and doesn’t need to improve much to win this.
Pride came close to glory in last year’s The Everest with Private Eye running a brave second to Giga Kick and that horse returns going arguably better as a $6 fancy this spring.
Private Eye went on to win the $3 million Winners Stakes following last year’s the Everest and caught the eye last start when getting over the top of Overpass in the final stride after an off-speed run in the Group 2 The Shorts.
The Al Maher six-year-old looks to have plenty left to give and his chances are boosted by the booking of hoop of the moment Nash Rawiller who is riding in terrific form this season.
The Everest has seen two three-year-old winners in its six-year history to date with Yes Yes Yes (2019) and Giga Kick (2022).
Two young guns take on the older sprinters in 2023 with the best fancied being the James Cummings-trained Cylinder ($8) who is drawn a treat in gate four with apprentice Zac Lloyd in the saddle.
The Exceed And Excel colt is fourth-up and fit looking to atone after being denied a third straight win this prep when narrowly defeated by the fast-finishing Militarize in the Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) last start.
Shinzo is the other three-year-old The Everest contender this season with Chris Waller’s smart son of Snitzel already having defeated Cylinder when adding to his value at stud with a Golden Slipper win in the autumn.
He raced flat the closing stages losing steam when ninth in the Golden Rose, but is fitter for the run and will appreciate coming back to 1200m.
Kerrin McEvoy makes The Everest history aboard Shinzo becoming the only jockey to ride in all seven editions of the slot race and chases his fourth victory.
Shinzo is at current The Everest odds of $13 as the better fancied of Waller’s two chances at a third trophy.
Waller won with the aforementioned three-year-old Yes Yes Yes in 2019 and again in 2021 with boom horse Nature Strip.
His other shot at another trophy this weekend lies in Group 1 Coolmore Classic winning mare Espiona ($15).
The quirky daughter of Extreme Choice has Hugh Bowman coming back from Hong Kong for the ride with the last start Golden Pendant winner’s chances aided by a favourable gate three draw.
The Bjorn Baker-trained speedster Overpass meanwhile is the other single-figure chance at $8 to improve on his sixth in last year’s race.
The Vancouver five-year-old came up trumps with barrier two for jockey Josh Parr and has been in terrific form over the past 12 months.
He was enormous in Perth’s $4 million The Quokka buy-in event when defeating Amelia’s Jewel and Bella Nipotina in the autumn and then lost few admirers when second to Giga Kick in Brisbane’s Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m).
Fresh he went down in the final stride when nailed right on the line by Private Eye in The Shorts and gets his shot to turn the tables on Saturday.
Also luckless in The Shorts when held up at a crucial stage was the Matthew Smith-trained Buenos Noches who represents race sponsor the TAB in The Everest now as a $12 chance.
Another apprentice gets his chance at The Everest glory with Dylan Gibbons aboard the four-year-old son of Supido who is a Group 1 place-getter showing plenty of promise.
The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Hawaii Five Oh looks to become just the second The Everest winner from a double-digit barrier when he jumps from gate 10 with James McDonald in the saddle.
Jockey Craig Williams chases back-to-back The Everest victories aboard stablemate Alcohol Free with the $10.6 million mare racing for owner and slot-holder Yulong Investments.
The European import is a four-time Group 1 winner overseas but is a 50/1 outside in The Everest as is last year’s third place-getter Mazu for Peter & Paul Snowden who took out the opening two editions with Redzel (2017-18).
In Secret completes the line-up running for Godolphin with the dual Group 1 winning mare needing luck from the outside barrier with Hong Kong-based hoop Zac Purton in the saddle.
The 2023 The Everest is scheduled to run as Randwick Race 7 at 4:15pm (AEDT) on Saturday.
2023 The Everest Field & Barriers
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||1151x231x3||I WISH I WIN (NZ)||Peter G Moody & Katherine Coleman||Luke Nolen||1||58.5kg||116|
|2||1217x405x1||PRIVATE EYE||Joseph Pride||Nash Rawiller||9||58.5kg||115|
|3||1111x111x1||THINK ABOUT IT||Joseph Pride||Sam Clipperton||5||58.5kg||115|
|4||232x5363x9||MAZU||Peter & Paul Snowden||Tommy Berry||11||58.5kg||113|
|5||26690x12x2||OVERPASS||Bjorn Baker||Joshua Parr||2||58.5kg||112|
|6||6123x57x13||BUENOS NOCHES||Matthew Smith||Dylan Gibbons (a)||8||58.5kg||110|
|7||9x22113x62||HAWAII FIVE OH||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||James McDonald||10||58.5kg||110|
|8||x34913x0x4||ALCOHOL FREE (IRE)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Craig Williams||7||56.5kg||115|
|9||21x1317x24||IN SECRET||James Cummings||Zac Purton||12||56.5kg||115|
|10||40x6117x21||ESPIONA||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||3||56.5kg||111|
|11||3211×9||SHINZO||Chris Waller||Kerrin McEvoy||6||53kg||104|
|12||2x1127x113||CYLINDER||James Cummings||Zac Lloyd (a)||4||53kg||101|
|13e||9x30236x33||BELLA NIPOTINA||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||0||56.5kg||112|
|15e||6x114624x2||KING OF SPARTA||Peter & Paul Snowden||0||58.5kg||108|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.