Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Owners, slot-holders, trainers, jockeys, punters, racing fans and the general sporting public have all been captivated by The Everest, with 12 top-class sprinters lining up on Saturday to chase the $10 million prize.
With the contenders, jockeys and draws now all finalised, excitement increases ahead of what promises to be an intriguing and spectacular race.
Studs and stallion-owners are also excited because the $5.8 million lion's share of the prizemoney will almost certainly shoot the winner's sire to the top of the Australian General Sires' table. Arrowfield's stallion roster is represented in The Everest by Snitzel's son Redzel, and Not A Single Doubt's sons Clearly Innocent & Fell Swoop.
In some cases, the race result will set up a break on the premiership that may be tough to run down, if the stallion has enough firepower to compile significant additional progeny earnings. A final figure close to Snitzel's record 2016/17 total of $16.2 million will probably be necessary, given the quality of the current top 20 Australian sires.
Snitzel has already commandeered the No. 1 spot on the 2017/18 premiership with $4.3 million and 13 stakeswinners, among them his Everest runner, and major earner last season, the powerhouse sprinter Redzel.
The 5YO gelding has been in red-hot form this Spring, winning both his starts at Randwick, the Concorde 1000m G3 and The Shorts 1100m G2 in record time on 16 September.
His preparation has been timed perfectly by Peter & Paul Snowden to keep him fresh, which suits him and many of Snitzel's progeny. He's also proven at the course and distance and Kerrin McEvoy will give him every chance to use his formidable on-pace brilliance from gate 4.
Already the winner of almost $1.4 million and nine races including the Doomben 10,000 G1, Redzel was bred by Lee Fleming from Millrich (by Rubiton) and bought from Marquee Stud for $120,000 by Chris & Michael Ward's Triple Crown Syndications at the 2014 Magic Millions Sale. Redzel is raced by a large band of around 30 owners and takes up the Everest slot held by leading bloodstock agent & buyer James Harron, also closely associated with Snowden Racing.
Chris Ward is full of praise for The Everest concept. "It's enormous for the industry, the interest has been huge, and Racing New South Wales and the Australian Turf Club have done a great job, considering The Everest was only launched in February."
After Tuesday morning's barrier draw, Chris said, "Peter [Snowden] tells us Redzel is the best he's ever had him. He's spot on for the race."
Chris is clear about the qualities that give Redzel a strong chance of success. "He can race up on the speed and make his own luck, he's extremely tough and can sustain his sprint. And if he wins, I'll go bananas!"