2018 TAB Everest Preview & Betting Tips
The $13million TAB Everest is the feature race of the day at Royal Randwick on Saturday, October 13th. Below is our runnerby-runner preview and betting tips for the race.
The track is expected to be in the Heavy range and the rail is in the True position.
#1 Redzel: Dual Group 1 winner and winner of the inaugural Everest last year. He comes into this off a disappointing run in the G2 Premiere Stakes, where he was beaten 2.1L into 5th, but he did go into that race off a small setback. I suspect he’ll improve quite a bit on that run and every indication from Peter and Paul Snowden is that he has done just that and the stable are renown for having their horses peak on grand final day. From barrier 1 he’ll either lead or sit behind US Navy Flag and the wet conditions pose no problem for him. He’s had 12 starts at Randwick for seven wins and three minor placings, so at $7.50/$2.65 he looks a reasonable each way bet.
#2 Santa Ana Lane: Three-time Group 1 winner who came to Sydney and won the G2 Premiere Stakes last start. He ended his last campaign by winning back-to-back Group 1’s so he is certainly in the form of his life. He comes into the Everest third up and his third up record stands at six starts, three wins and two placings. That suggests he’s primed for this race and the win in the Premiere may have just been a bonus along the way. His win in the Stradbroke Handicap last prep came on a Heavy 8 so the conditions shouldn’t really bother him, but barrier 9 does make things slightly awkward. He didn’t go around a runner last start but the speedmap has him back and wide on this occasion. Regardless, he beat most of these last start and his record indicates he’s only going to improve, so $9.50 looks a good price now and I’d definitely be having something on.
#3 Le Romain: Only recently selected after English and Invincible Star were ruled out. Just a month ago he ran 2nd to Winx in the G1 George Main Stakes over 1600m, but drops back to the 1200m here. That has to be some query, especially as it’s unlikely he was being trained for this until only a fortnight or so ago. He does have a few things in his favour though. The wet conditions will really suit him; he’s finished in the top two at five of his six starts on heavy ground. He’s also finished in the top two at five of his six starts at this track and distance. In fact, he’s only ever missed a place once from 10 starts at the distance. The main problem for him is the barrier draw. The last time he drew wide, he also started from barrier 11 and that was in the G1 Doomben 10,000, which forced him to sit three-wide on speed. He finished 3rd beaten 0.4L behind English and Impending in that race, so he’s certainly not hopeless at $21.
#4 Trapeze Artist: Probably one of only two runners in the race that really won’t want the track to be too wet. It’s pretty clear that Gerald Ryan has kept a bit up the sleeve to have him fully peaking for this race. First up he was a massive drifter in the market (unusual for Ryan horses first up) and he’s never run to his best second up. In fact, he’s had four second up runs for four 4th placings. His previous three runs when third up have resulted in a 3L win in the Black Opal, a 4.3L win in the Golden Rose and a 1.8L 3rd in the Randwick Guineas behind Kementari (worth noting that race was over a mile). I think if this race were on a Good track, he’d probably be my top pick, but it’s going to be a heavy 8 minimum and he’s yet to win from three starts on heavy ground. The draw gives him every chance but with this depth of quality in the field, he’d need to relish the conditions, which I doubt he will.
#5 Vega Magic: Tragedy beat in this race last year, where he was #Willowed. Resumed with a dominant win in the G3 Bletchingly Stakes before being narrowly defeated in the G1 Memsie Stakes. That was essentially the same preparation he followed coming into this race last year and the stable think he’s actually going better this time around. He’s had a six week break since that last run, with a trial at Albury in between, so should be pretty fresh. The blinkers go back on, he’s drawn well in barrier 7 (expect them to go forward) and the only query that remains is the heavy ground. He’s won two from three on soft groun but he’s yet to race on a genuinely heavy track. I’ve got him as a very live chance and will be having something on at $8.00.
#6 Brave Smash: Ran 3rd in the race last year behind Redzel and Vega Magic and he’s probably in better shape this time around. He’s had an extra 12 months in Australia and in the Weir system and has obviously been targeted at this race a fair way out. His whole prep ahs been tailored towards peaking for this race and it’s been faultless to date (even though he hasn’t won any of his three runs this campaign). Weir has obviously kept him fresh and sharp as his three runs leading into this have been over 1100m, 1100m and then 1000m last start. In fact, he’s sharp enough that they have elected not to even put the blinkers on. His best distance is 1400m but that might play into his favour given the testing conditions, while the barrier allows him to get the absolute perfect run in the race. Some query over the genuine heavy track (he’s only had one start on heavy ground back in Japan) but in terms of his condition, I think he’s primed to run a very big race.
#8 US Navy Flag: Obviously the most intriguing runner in the race being the only international, but he’s also probably the one runner that will hate the heavy conditions. His only start on heavy ground resulted in a 15L defeat in a field of four. In terms of form, it’s hard to line up but he’s a three-time Group 1 winner and after being stretched out to a mile, the stable have focused purely on training him as a sprinter, which had immediate effect when he dropped back from 1600m to 1200m last start and won the July Cup (the G1 race that Redkirk Warrior failed in). He’ll go forward from barrer 3 and if the track somehow ends up in the soft range rather than heavy, he’s a chance.
#9 In Her Time: There was plenty of conjecture over whether she would return in the same kind of form that saw her win the G1 The Galaxy first up last prep after trainer Ben Smith was suspended for using illegal substances, but she was super on debut for new trainer Kris Lees in the Premiere Stakes. He ran 3rd beaten 0.3L by Santa Ana Lane and Shoals. She was only first up in that race, while the other two were both second up so she might have a touch more improvement than them. She’s yet to face a heavy track but did win her G1 last prep on soft ground. Barrier 8 is a little query but if she’s able to slot in somehere in midfield, she’ll be right in this.
#10 Shoals: Probably the run of the race in the Premiere Stakes, flashing home from near last on the turn and coming the widest in the straight. Her stats for this race line up very well. She’s finished in the top two at all three starts at Randwick, has four wins from six starts at the distance and is undefeated from three runs on rain-affected ground. At Group 1 level she’s had four starts for three wins and a 2nd placing and although this isn’t a Group 1 race, it might as well be and the stable will obviously have targeted her at this as if it was one. Drawn nicely in barrier 2 and should be able to settle a touch closer than she was last start. Looks very hard to beat.
#11 Viddora: Perhaps a bit underrated and flying under the radar. Simply dominant in her first run back when taking out the G1 Moir Stakes over 1000m at Moonee Valley. I’m a bit surprised she’s an $18 chance here. She’s yet to face a heavy track in her 27-start career and she’s drawn the widest barrier (12) but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing for her. She tends to get back in her races anyway and she might be able to find a back in the three-wide line. If she’s close enough to strike on the turn, her turn of foot will see her be very competitive in this. There’s a few horses shorter than her in the market that are genuine queries and she looks to be in career-best form, so if she handles the conditions, she’s an each way chance.
#12 Graff: Another X-factor horse given he’s the sole three-year-old in the race and carries just 53kg. He comes out of the Golden Rose where he ran 3rd behind what could be two superstars in The Autumn Sun and Zousain, and prior to that he ran enormous behind Lean Mean Machine in the Run to the Rose on heavy ground. That gives you the indication the wet ground will be no issue but the barrier draw does make things hard for him. We saw his wide draw cost him in the Run to the Rose, when he was snagged back and caught wide, but Lees did say he will be ridden further forward in this race. I think he’s a very exciting colt but this is a big ask to line up against the country’s premier sprinters in a WFA race at just your sixth start.
#17 Osbourne Bulls: Up-and-coming horse with eight wins from 12 career starts, so he’s clearly no slouch, but this is his toughest task to date. With that said, he did a very good job to win first up when defeating subsequent winner Land Of Plenty and then ran the fastest final 200m in the G1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes last start. That was over 1400m and he drops back to 1200m for this, a distance he’s won at five times from six starts. He’s also coming into this third up and he’s undefeated from two third up runs previosuly. Drawn to get an ideal run from barrier 5 and although he’s untested on genuine heavy ground, he’s won both times on soft ground and is bred to handle the conditions. Possibly just a touch outclassed at this point of his career.
1ST #10 SHOALS
2ND #5 VEGA MAGIC
3RD #2 SANTA ANA LANE
4TH #9 IN HER TIME
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