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.

Classique Legend (Photo: Steve Hart) | Horseracing.com.au

Classique Legend is favourite to successfully defend his title in Saturday’s $15 million The Everest first-up in Sydney. Photo: Steve Hart.

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
13e 381x6602x1 KEMENTARI James Cummings 0 58.5kg 109
14e 730x15433x SIGNORE FOX Peter & Paul Snowden 0 58.5kg 105
15e 5528x00x62 STANDOUT Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou 0 58.5kg 104
16e 2355×12715 CHAT John Thompson 0 58.5kg 103

Table Credit: Racing Australia.

About The Author

Lucy Henderson

Lucy is an experienced horse racing journalist that has been a crucial member of the horseracing.com.au team for the better part of a decade. She has taken great delight in covering champion mares Black Caviar and Winx throughout their careers and always has a soft spot for a winning filly.