Powell looks ahead to The Everest
The A$14 million Everest will be run on Saturday, October 19, 2019, for the third time at Royal Randwick in Sydney, Australia. It is run around one, right-handed turn going 1,200 meters – approximately six furlongs. The Everest has a purse structure similar to the Pegasus World Cup (G1) where the 12 available slots are purchased for A$600,000. The slot owner can then use their own horse, sell their slot or negotiate with the owner of another horse to partner with. For more information on the Everest, click on www.theeverest.com.au.
The Everest has 12 starting spots and more horses looking to get in. Even though it costs A$600,000 to buy a spot, the seventh through 12th-place finishers get A$400,000 so it’s certainly worth the risk to run for a A$6 million first-place purse.
The most obvious trend to examine is that the Everest has been run twice and it was won both times by Redzel. In 2017, the Snitzel gelding thrived on a firm course and won in 1:08.36 then he came back last year on heavy going and won it in 1:12.30. What Redzel does brilliantly is fly out of the starting gate and avoid any traffic going into the turn. He doesn’t have to be on the lead, has terrific cruising speed and then bellies down in the stretch. He is clearly the horse to beat but that doesn’t make him unbeatable.
With a big breeding operation in Australia, Coolmore is determined to win this race. They have been successful shipping in a European three-year-old to win the Cox Plate (G1), and have their sights set on a similar feat in the Everest. Last year, they started U S Navy Flag, but he lost all chance with a poor start over soft ground he detested. Still, it was a learning experience and now they will use their slot with Ten Sovereigns who won the July Cup (G1) two starts back against older horses then could not keep up going five furlongs last out behind super sprinter Battaash.
Ten Sovereigns has a ton of speed and needs a clean start and firmer ground to do his best. If the ground comes up like it did last year, he is not expected to race so you don’t have to worry about him racing over soft ground.
Godolphin has been thriving in Australia since going with James Cummings (Bart’s grandson) as their trainer. The operation has had a few in the Everest mix, and champion filly Alizee is confirmed to use Godolphin’s slot. Osborne Bulls, third in last year’s Everest while racing on the outside fence, has been ruled out by injury after running poorly in his last start, and three-year-old Bivouac appears bound for the Coolmore Stud S. (G1) against his own age group. But Godolphin’s Trekking just earned himself a spot by taking the Schillaci (G2), which offers the Melbourne Racing Club’s Everest slot to the winner. A decision on whether Trekking will line up in the Everest is expected to come Sunday.
There is already betting on the Everest and you can get a peek at where the money will be on the big day. Here are the odds according to racenet.com.au:
SANTA ANA LANE 4.6
ARCADIA QUEEN 6
YES YES YES 11
CLASSIQUE LEGEND 16
Once the Everest field is drawn, then the issue will be the weather. Then, you can dig down and do your handicapping. But in the meantime, there is plenty of information about the projected starters that you can start working on.
Redzel winning the 2018 Everest (Photo courtesy of Sky Racing World)