Group 1 winning mare Loving Gaby’s chances of gaining a slot in the $15 The Everest (1200m) at Randwick are in danger if the New South Wales – Victorian border remains closed to racehorses.

Loving Gaby, above, needs the NSW - Victoria border to open to gain a slot in The Everest at Randwick. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Loving Gaby, above, needs the NSW – Victoria border to open to gain a slot in The Everest at Randwick. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Racing New South Wales stewards banned horses from entering New South Wales from Victoria in early July following the second wave of coronavirus breaking out in Melbourne.

Co-trainer David Eustace, who trains in partnership with Ciaron Maher, said that Loving Gaby was set to resume for the 2020 Spring Carnival in the Group 1 $1m Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley on September 25.

Eustace and Maher have training complexes at Ballarat and Caulfield in Victoria as well as stables at Warwick Farm in Sydney and Loving Gaby is in their Victorian system at the moment.

Eustace is hoping a good performance by Loving Gaby in the Moir would attract the attention of The Everest slot holders and is hoping she would gain a spot in the $15m sprint on October 17.

But that all depends on if the border between the two states is re-opened for horses to travel by then.

“The horse that are going to be most difficult to manage will be Loving Gaby. We are hopeful to try and get an Everest slot, but it won’t be much point if we can’t go there,” Eustace told RSN827’s Racing Pulse.

“The Everest and the Golden Eagle are two targets really for her.”

“Obviously there are races for her down here (in Melbourne), but we would love to be able to race her up in Sydney.”

“The ideal scenario is that she runs in the Moir and then up into the Everest, that is want we want to do.”

“We have got plans in place and they have been there for a while. That is the plan but we are going to have to be a bit more fluid if that changes but we are hopeful it will be overturned by then.”

Loving Gaby is the winner of two Group 1s, both at The Valley, in the $1m Ladbrokes Manikato Stakes (1200m) during the 2019 Melbourne Spring Carnival and in the $500,000 Keogh Homes William Reid Stakes (1200m) during the 2020 Melbourne Autumn Carnival.

Only two slots for The Everest have been secured with the Chris Waller trained Nature Strip to run for TAB and Les Bridge’s Classique Legend to represent Bon Ho.

Early betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for The Everest has Loving Gaby marked at $15 while multiple Group 1 winner Nature Strip is the dominant $3.80 favourite.

Nature Strip finished fourth behind his stablemate Yes Yes Yes in last year’s The Everest but has saluted at Group 1 level on four occasions, including his last start win in the Group 1 $1.25m T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Day One Of The Championships during the 2020 Sydney Autumn Carnival.

All-in betting for the 2020 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.80 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 Fabergino, Greyworm, Peltzer, Trekking, $31 Arcadia Queen, Tagaloa, $34 or better the rest.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.