The field is set and the barrier draw has been conducted for this Saturday’s $15 million The Everest (1200m) where last year’s champion Classique Legend will defend his title from gate five.
Last Sydney Spring Racing Carnival, Les Bridge’s classy grey won the world’s richest turf race from barrier six with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle.
McEvoy, who also rode Redzel to victory in 2017 and 2018, chases his incredible fourth The Everest win in the race’s five-year history this weekend continuing associations with Classique Legend.
The now six-year-old son of Not A Single Doubt is out to add his own page to The Everest history books attempting to win the race first-up.
Classique Legend has not raced since his failed Hong Kong Sprint bid at Sha Tin last December, but the stable is happy going into the Royal Randwick feature fresh off two nice lead-up trial wins at the track and the bookies have him at the top of The Everest betting.
Following in The Everest markets at Ladbrokes.com.au is Nature Strip for Chris Waller Racing who has his third run in the event.
The recently crowned 2020/21 Champion Sprinter was fourth to his stablemate Yes Yes Yes in 2019 before a disappointing seventh last year that he seeks atonement for this weekend.
James McDonald retains the ride on the two-time TJ Smith Stakes winner, Nature Strip presenting fit third-up after a Group 3 Concorde Stakes win and second in the Group 2 The Shorts at the track.
The horse jumped from barrier five last year and is out wider in gate 10 on Saturday, which could prove an advantage with the potential for a wet track for The Everest Day looming.
The rails draw belongs to last year’s third placegetter Gytrash, the only barrier the stable did not want for the consistent Gordon Richards-trained South Australian.
Gytrash won the $1 million Winners Stakes directly after rounding out the 2020 The Everest trifecta and comes off an eye-catching first-up third in The Shorts from the same barrier (1) he drew for Saturday.
Last year’s fourth placegetter Trekking is back for his third shot at the title, the Godolphin stalwart having also placed a gallant third in 2019, and jumps from a nice barrier four draw with Josh Parr aboard.
Godolphin had a number of top sprinters to select from to fill their slot in this year’s The Everest but have stuck with the seven-year-old James Cummings-trained son of Street Cry on the back of his two nice lead-up runs.
Trekking ran third fresh to Nature Strip in the Concorde Stakes before a luckless third on the tight Moonee Valley circuit behind Wild Ruler in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m).
Peter & Paul Snowden chase a third The Everest success after the two victories by Redzel and are represented by the Moir Stakes winner Wild Ruler in barrier 11 with Tim Clark to ride.
On his outside in the widest gate is the Moir Stakes runner-up The Inferno prepared by Cliff Brown, running in the James Harron Bloodstock slot and to be ridden by Regan Bayliss.
The other slot holder looking to be the first The Everest winner to salute first-up is the Anthony Cummings-trained mare Libertini.
She beat Classique Legend home first-up last season by two lengths in the Premiere Stakes before running four lengths back eighth in The Everest.
Two of her three subsequent starts netted Group 1 thirds (VRC Classic, William Reid Stakes) in Melbourne and Cummings has opted to keep her fresh as she lines-up for Aquis on Saturday from gate eight.
The William Reid Stakes winner Masked Crusader is also contesting The Everest this weekend on the back of a Premiere Stakes victory and is drawn gate nine for jockey Tommy Berry.
Also coming off a lead-up Sydney win in a traditional The Everest lead-up is the Joe Pride-trained Eduardo who saluted fresh in The Shorts.
Winner of The Galaxy in Sydney and Doomben 10,000 in Brisbane at elite level last campaign, Eduardo was second last in The Everest 2020 and looks a bigger threat 12 months on from barrier seven.
The other previous The Everest winning hoop, Glen Boss (Yes Yes Yes, 2019) chases his second victory on a Waller-trained three-year-old partnering Home Affairs from last year’s winning barrier (6).
The sole three-year-old in this year’s event, Home Affairs was good first-up winning the Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill ahead of subsequent Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes winner Paulele.
The John O’Shea-trained Lost And Running and the final slot holder Embracer round out the field drawn in barriers two and three respectively.
The 2021 The Everest runs as Randwick Race 7 at 4:15pm (AEDT) on Saturday’s race card in Sydney.
The Everest 2021 Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||472x121x12||NATURE STRIP||Chris Waller||James McDonald||10||58.5kg||121|
|2||60x1x1210x||CLASSIQUE LEGEND||Les Bridge||Kerrin McEvoy||5||58.5kg||120|
|3||204x1131x1||EDUARDO||Joseph Pride||Nash Rawiller||7||58.5kg||118|
|4||2x131x30x3||GYTRASH||Gordon Richards & Damien Moyle||Jason Collett||1||58.5kg||115|
|5||424x554x33||TREKKING||James Cummings||Joshua Parr||4||58.5kg||115|
|6||x13125x151||MASKED CRUSADER||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tommy Berry||9||58.5kg||114|
|7||13x1619x21||WILD RULER||Peter & Paul Snowden||Tim Clark||11||58.5kg||112|
|8||2x1111x612||THE INFERNO||Cliff Brown||Regan Bayliss||12||58.5kg||111|
|9||30x177x223||EMBRACER||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Jean Van Overmeire||3||58.5kg||102|
|10||1x11211x84||LOST AND RUNNING (NZ)||John O’Shea||Hugh Bowman||2||58.5kg||101|
|11||49x183x38x||LIBERTINI||Anthony Cummings||Sam Clipperton||8||56.5kg||109|
|12||2138×1||HOME AFFAIRS||Chris Waller||Glen Boss||6||53kg||94|
|14e||730x15433x||SIGNORE FOX||Peter & Paul Snowden||0||58.5kg||105|
|15e||5528x00x62||STANDOUT||Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou||0||58.5kg||104|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.