Five-year-old gelding Trekking capped off a big day for Godolphin winning the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Bursting through late down the straight, Trekking found the line strongly to win by half a length over Ball of Muscle, who looked to be home and hosed after leading for the majority of the journey.
The result has now given trainer James Cummings something to think about ahead of next week’s $14 million The Everest race at Royal Randwick. Already representing the blue colours is stablemate Alizee, but should Trekking pull up well on Sunday, the champion trainer might just double his chances.
“I think he possibly could. It’s going to look really attractive in the form guide, he’s only second-up today, we saved him so he’d be second up in the Schillaci and absolutely ready to go, and that sort of fitness will really help him if we were to consider it” Cummings said on Saturday.
“But we have to be really happy with he way he’s pulled up, we’ll see how he is in the morning, the boys and I will have a good discussion about it, we have until midday tomorrow to lock in a decision and the let race club know.”
Trekking came through two-wide in the Schillaci to blaze past the rest of the field over the final furlong. It was another reminder of how devastatingly fast the gelding by Street Cry can be over short distances, and although Cummings wouldn’t give a straight answer, winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy didn’t hold back.
“He’s won a Stradbroke and I know it’s weight-for-age, but yeah, he’s won there weight-for-age. He’s going to go there, he’s got a sharp turn of foot and a bit of a cut on the ground and goes on top of the ground, so they’ll know he’s there that’s for sure” McEvoy said.
McEvoy will likely board two-time Everest winner Redzel next week, but with Trekking paying $21.00 in Ladbrokes’ All-In Everest market, Godolphin will surely have no shortage of riders putting their hands up for a spot in the saddle.
Should the blue army choose to go elsewehere though, it could open up a spot for Saturday’s second place-getter Ball of Muscle as trainer Joseph Pride said he’ll certainly consider lining up in the world’s richest turf race.
“We’ve got to see how our horse pulls up, he’s going back to Sydney regardless. He let us down the other night at Moonee Valley but be fair to him wrong race, he hates racing at The Valley, he won’t be going back there, but we bring him here to Caulfield and we always see the best of him” Pride said.
Full Ladbrokes Everest odds can be viewed here.