Kiwi trainer Clayton Chipperfield is keen to chase a slot in the 2020 The Everest with his Group 1 winning four year old Catalyst.
Catalyst claimed Group 1 glory with his win in the NZD$500,000 N.Z. 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in New Zealand last November during his three year old season.
Chipperfield is hoping that Catalyst will find his winning form quickly in the early stages of his 2020 Spring Carnival campaign and get the attention of The Everest slot holders.
“The way he won his 1200 metre and 1400 metre races here, I don’t think the 1200 metres of The Everest, relatively early on in his prep, would be too much of an issue,” Chipperfield told NZ Racing Desk.
“Given the couple of run alongs that he has had this time around, the turn of foot is definitely still there but his stride is even longer. So if he can sprint with that long stride, I don’t think 1200m is going to be an issue at all for him.”
Catalyst is currently marked at $34 at Ladbrokes.com.au for the $15m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 17.
Chipperfield has penciled in Catalyst for a barrier trial at Taupo on August 12 before heading to Sydney for his 2020 Spring Carnival debut in the Group 2 $500,000 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 19.
“He will go there (trial) and have a nice blowout and we will know where he is at from there, but he certainly feels a lot bigger under me and is a lot stronger,” Chipperfield said.
“He is a lot more switched on mentally too which is certainly positive when we’re looking at Australia because he has got some big goals ahead of him.”
Catalyst will then be set for the $500,000 Silver Eagle (1300m) at Randwick on October 10 and his performance there will determine if there is any interest from The Everest slot holders or if he continues onto the $7.5m Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill on October 31.
“In between the Silver Eagle and the Golden Eagle is The Everest, so if he can get a slot in that, that is possibly on the cards as well,” Chipperfield said.
Nature Strip has already been locked in to run in the TAB’s The Everest slot and the Chris Waller trained sprinter is the dominant $3.50 favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Early betting for the 2020 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Nature Strip, $9 Bivouac, $10 Classique Legend, $11 Alligator Blood, $12 Farnan, $14 Gytrash, $15 Loving Gaby, Rothfire, $17 Masked Crusader, Tofane, $19 Santa Ana Lane, $21 Doubtland, $26 Trekking, Fabergino, Greyworm, Peltzer, Rubisaki, $31 Arcadia Queen, Tagaloa, $34 Catalyst, Mamaragan, $41 or better the rest.