The Everest Final Field Announced

Thu, 05/10/2017 - 4:16pm, tim_tips

The Everest – the world’s richest race on turf – is just nine days away and the final field has been confirmed for the highly-anticipated sprint.

Much has been made of the creation of the race by Racing NSW, which now surpasses the Melbourne Cup as the richest race in Australia. The race contains 12 slots – each at a cost of $600,000 – and once a slot is secured the respective slot owner can broker a deal with a horse’s owners for that horse to represent them.

Interestingly, slot owners stand to lose a minimum of $200,000 if their horse fails to run a place.

Event Details

*       Date: Saturday 14 October 2017
*       Track: Royal Randwick
*       Distance: 1200m
*       Field Size: 12
*       Conditions: Weight-for-age (WFA)
*       Class: Restricted
*       Total Prizemoney: $10 million
*       1st Prizemoney: $5.8 million

The Field






She Will Reign

Gary Portelli

Corey Brown



Vega Magic

D & B Hayes & T Dabernig

Craig Williams




M, W & J Hawkes

Brenton Avdulla



Redkirk Warrior

D & B Hayes & T Dabernig

Regan Bayliss




Peter & Paul Snowden

Kerrin McEvoy




G Waterhouse & A Bott

Blake Shinn



Clearly Innocent

Kris Lees

Hugh Bowman




Gerald Ryan

Josh Parr



Brave Smash

Darren Weir





Toby Edmonds

Jeff Lloyd



Fell Swoop

Matthew Dale

Tye Angland




D & B Hayes & T Dabernig

Tim Clark



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The field was finalised this week with the surprise inclusion of three-year-old filly Tulip as Coolmoore’s nominated horse. The decision seems very bizarre and seemingly a huge waste of money given Tulip surely has no hope of winning, but with Coolmoore being one of the world’s largest breeding operations, clearly it was important to them that they were represented by one of their own horses, particularly one that was bred by one of its leading new sires. Still, $600,000 is no small amount of money to cough up for a horse going around just to make up the numbers.

The other horse that was announced this week as a definite starter was the Kris Lees-trained Clearly Innocent, who will represent slot owner Damion Flower. It would have been a shame if this underrated sprinter missed out on a spot, and he’ll be cherry ripe for The Everest. He’ll tackle the race second up from a spell after finishing 3rd in the Premiere Stakes at his reappearance last weekend. Hugh Bowman has been confirmed as his rider.

Speaking of the Premiere Stakes, one horse that can count themselves unlucky to miss out on a slot is In Her Time, who defeated four current slot-holders when winning the Group 2 event last weekend. She’s now a dual Group 2 winner and was desperately unlucky not to win a Group 1 during the Brisbane Carnival earlier this year. She would have been a live chance had she secured a slot.

To a lesser extent, South Australian sprinter Viddora was perhaps a touch unlucky that the Moir Stakes didn’t come a bit earlier. She was an unlucky runner-up to Everest favourite She Will Reign, beaten by a nostril, but she left her run too late in the race to gain a slot. Russian Revolution looked set to come into calculations after a smart first-up win in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes, but his poor showing in the Moir means those plans were aborted. Similarly, Menari was touted as a genuine chance to contest The Everest after his dominant showing over 1200m in the Run To The Rose, but his failure in the Golden Rose all but ended his chances of lining up here. Boom horse Spieth, desperately unlucky not to already be a two-time Group 1 winner, was another to miss out on a slot, along with Malaguerra.

The move from Inglis to lock away Fell Swoop back in June is looking like a poor choice. This five-time Group 1 placegetter was one of the first horses chosen, but has failed to finish better than 6th in three starts this preparation. 

Though it’s only the inaugural running of the race on October 14, the ATC will be disappointed not to have lured an international runner to the race, which would have generated significant overseas interest. Multiple Group 1 winner Limato, American sensation Lady Aurelia and the Aiden O’Brien-trained Caravaggio were all touted as potential Everest competitors, but none ended up making the trip. Brave Smash, the Japanese import now trained by Darren Weir, is the closest thing to an international runner in the race, which undoubtedly played a significant part in the ATC’s decision to nominate him as their horse.

Brave Smash

Early Thoughts

The early forecast for the 14th October in Sydney is for warm weather and no rain, so I expect we’ll be running on a very firm track. Does that suit on-pacers? Possibly, but the tempo of this race could override that and allow backmarkers their chance. This won’t be a sit-sprint and the barrier draw will play a big role.

I’ve long been a fan of the Hayes/Dabernig pair of Vega Magic and Redkirk Warrior, as well as Redzel. The problem is that all three are on-speed runners, and if they’re all involved in a speed battle it could be detrimental to all three. I’ve been keen to take on the likes of She Will Reign, Chautauqua and English. However, that was before She Will Reign’s incredible Moir Stakes victory and before English’s eye-catching runner-up finish in the Premiere Stakes. Chautauqua was disappointing last weekend, but he’ll be spot on third up from a spell and the race will be run at a good tempo which is what he needs.

Clearly Innocent improved out of sight second up last preparation and returned with a solid placing in the Premiere Stakes last weekend. Deploy looks outclassed but ran a track record when winning by four lengths last start. Brave Smash was very disappointing last time we saw him and could be looking for a longer trip, but he’s set to race in blinkers for the first time in The Everest. Houtzen would need to improve significantly on what we saw from her win at Moonee Valley last Friday night, but jockey Jeff Lloyd single-handedly convinced the owners and trainer to press on to The Everest, such was his confidence. Fell Swoop and Tulip are just making up the numbers.

One thing is for certain – the race is set to be an absolute cracker! Be sure to check next week for our full preview and analysis of The Everest once the barrier draw has been complete.

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