The Everest to challenge Golden Slipper in betting stakes; Ray Thomas column

THE Everest could challenge the Golden Slipper as Sydney’s biggest betting race as Royal Randwick prepares for a record crowd on Saturday.

The inaugural running of the $10 million The Everest has attracted unprecedented media coverage and punter interest with some officials predicting a betting bonanza on the 10-race Randwick program.

RAY & DUFF: EXPERT GUIDE TO THE EVEREST

RACE WATCH: DAVO’S TIPS FOR RANDWICK

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Influence of The Everest

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LAURIE Macri, the chairman of the Australian Turf Club, can envisage The Everest having the same influence on Australian racing and breeding as the time-honoured Golden Slipper.

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On the eve of The Everest’s inaugural running at Royal Randwick on Saturday, Macri said the feature sprint has already gone a long way to establishing itself as Sydney’s premier race of the spring carnival.

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“What is appropriate about The Everest is that it is spring, it is 1200m and it plays to our industry’s strengths,’’ Macri (pictured right) said.

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“We are acknowledged as breeding the best sprinters in the world and I think that is reflected by the outstanding quality of The Everest field on Saturday.

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“In time, I feel The Everest will have the same sort of influence on our industry as the Golden Slipper and become a real breed-shaper for our industry.’’

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ROYAL Randwick’s attendance for The Everest on Saturday is tipped to be the biggest in more than two decades. ATC officials are conservatively estimating for a crowd of about 30,000 but budgeting for 35,000 for The Everest meeting.

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If the attendance is closer to 35,000, it will be the biggest Randwick race day crowd since more than 50,000 saw Octagonal run down Saintly and Filante in the epic 1996 AJC (now ATC) Australian Derby.

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“The club has taken the view that if we get less than 30,000 through the gates, we won’t see that as a fail, but more as an opportunity over the next three years ,’’ Macri said.

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“But all the indicators are we will get a good crowd. The club is setting up to 35,000 and has put in place comfortable infrastructure if we get those sort of numbers.

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“We want people who come to Randwick for The Everest to have a good experience.’’

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MICHAEL Hawkes, co-trainer of champion Chautauqua, said The Everest has already become a major focus for industry professionals.

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“The Everest is a great concept and is putting Sydney’s spring carnival back on the map again,’’ Hawkes said. “Usually at this time of year we are talking about the Caulfield Cup, the Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup but now we are talking about Sydney in the spring and The Everest.’’

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GOLDEN Rose winner Trapeze Artist has been scratched from the Sydney Stakes and is no longer an emergency for the $10 million The Everest after suffering a leg injury.

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Racing NSW senior veterinarian Dr Craig Suann inspected the colt after a request from trainer Gerald Ryan, who found Trapeze Artist lame in the near foreleg yesterday morning.

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Trapeze Artist’s scratching gives the Matthew Dunn-trained Quatronic a start in the Sydney Stakes, a Listed race worth $500,000 run over The Everest course. In Her Time, Takedown and Ball Of Muscle are left as the emergencies for The Everest.

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Catchy can break filly hoodoo in Guineas

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CATCHY is attempting to become the first filly since Surround more than 40 years ago to win the $2 million Caulfield Guineas on Saturday.

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Trainer David Hayes could have run Catchy in the Thousand Guineas for fillies but pointed out that race was worth only $500,000. “She has taken on the ‘boys’ twice and beaten them in the Blue Diamond and Danehill Stakes,’’ Hayes said.

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Surround won the Caulfield Guineas way back in 1976, then trained on that spring to win the Cox Plate and Victoria Oaks. She was late crowned Horse of the Year.

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In recent years, fillies tend to go against their own sex in the Thousand Guineas and the last fillies to even place in the Caulfield Guineas were Shankhill Lass, who ran second to Drawn in 1985, while Spirit Of Kingston was third behind Red Anchor a year earlier.

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THERE will be a lot of interest in the debut run of juvenile colt Encryption in the Debutant Stakes on Caulfield Guineas-Thousand Guineas Day at Caulfield on Saturday.

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Encryption is a son of the mighty Lonhro, winner of the 2001 Caulfield Guineas, and is the first foal out of former outstanding filly Guelph, winner of the 2013 Thousand Guineas.

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“There’s something fitting about Guelph’s first foal making its debut on the day she won her fourth Group 1 in the Thousand Guineas,” trainer James Cummings said.

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“Encryption’s a lovely colt who has gone ahead since he jumped out up the straight at Flemington a couple of weeks ago. He’s an unassuming type and there’s a lot to like about him going into this race. But we’ve got our feet on the ground. He’s certainly got something, but he needs to show it on race day.”

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VIN Cox has been appointed the managing director of Godolphin in Australia.

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Godolphin’s chief executive Joe Osborne confirmed Cox’s appointment on Thursday, replacing Henry Plumptre. Cox, who had been managing director of Magic Millions since 2011, said it was an honour to be offered the Godolphin position.

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“This role brings together my passions of thoroughbred breeding and racing and it is a great opportunity,’’ Cox said.

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Cox will take up the position immediately after the Magic Millions sale in January 2018.

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Gerry Harvey moved quickly to appoint Barry Bowditch as Cox’s replacement.

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CAULFIELD Guineas favourite Royal Symphony has defied so many racing conventions.

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His dam, Naturalist, was 22 when she foaled him and he was her 15th foal. Horses out of old mares aren’t meant to be any good.

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Royal Symphony was rejected for the Inglis Premier Yearling Sale and his breeder, Joe Vella, suspects it was because of the old-age theory.

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Royal Symphony is also the product of Vela’s adherence to inbreeding.

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THE EARLY OIL: CAULFIELD GUINEAS DAY

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HOT TIPS: WEEKEND BEST BETS

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ANALYSIS: CAULFIELD GUINEAS

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“I believe in inbreeding and line breeding, which is an out-of-date theory, but I’m happy with our record of 92 per cent winners from starters,” he said.

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Vella and his wife Daira run their business at Wingrove Park, near Mt Macedon.

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He sent broodmare Naturalist to Domesday at Darley’s Seymour stud. Domesday hasn’t been a wild success and has since been relocated to Queensland.

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The horse Vella identified to inbreed to was 1977 English Derby winner The Minstrel, a grandsire on the dam’s side and a great-grandsire on the stallion’s side.

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Before Royal Symphony had raced, Naturalist had had 11 of her foals race for seven winners, Two — Hoodlum and Just Incredible — were city winners.

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Vella said Royal Symphony was a “cracking colt” but bills had to be paid so he was entered for the Inglis yearling sales. Of five yearlings entered by the Vellas, he was the only one knocked back.

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But Dwayne Dunn’s wife Amanda was inspecting the Wingrove Park draft at the yearling sales and Vella suggested she should look at a colt in his paddock.

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Dunn said his wife bought horses capable of making it in the show ring after a racing career, and she was taken with Royal Symphony.

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Dunn’s job in the partnership is to go through the pedigree, looking for horses he has ridden or about which he has extra knowledge.

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“I liked his half-brother Hoodlum, although I didn’t ride him,” Dunn said.

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Amanda Dunn has bought 19 horses since 2000 — nearly all at yearling sales — which she had syndicated.

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They paid $20,000 for the Domesday colt and sent him to Tony McEvoy to train after he was broken in by Julien Welsh.

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“We’ve never had a horse with Tony before — he was so keen on him early he tried to get me to go to Balaklava to ride him in a trial,” Dunn said.

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Royal Symphony was meant to have been gelded but “somehow got through the system”.

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Hong Kong buyers offered up to $4 million for him after he won his second start at Flemington, but the owners wanted to keep racing him.

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Now he’s in Caulfield Guineas, the stallion-making race, after four wins from five starts.

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RAY & DUFF: EXPERT GUIDE TO THE EVEREST

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RACE WATCH: DAVO’S TIPS FOR RANDWICK

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COP THE TIP: EVEREST SELECTIONS

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“If he wins then he can be sold later as a stallion,” said Dunn, who will ride him. “If he loses then he’s back to being just another horse.”

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Vella said he would be the proudest man on course if Royal Symphony wins.

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“At one stage we had 42 broodmares but now we are a boutique operation and we’re down to eight,” he said. “The breeder doesn’t get too much recognition but it’s our livelihood and we put our heart and soul into the operation.”

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And there could yet be another Royal Symphony. Vela has decided to again breed with the 25-year-old mare Naturalist for the first time in three seasons. She will be served by Chatswood Stud Stallion All American this weekend.

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“She’s capable of having more foals. She’s still got good size follicles,” Vella said.

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Royal Symphony was Naturalist’s 15th foal.

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If you’re short on time finding a winner for the inaugural The Everest at Royal Randwick, check out our ten-minute guide to the world’s richest race on turf.

“,”foxsportsLink”:”https://www.foxsports.com.au/horse-racing/the-everest-like-dislike-and-verdict-on-every-runner-in-the-race/news-story/d0fb6934c20c716813c233302c0a7372″,”dynamicMetadata”:{“route”:”horse-racing”,”link”:”https://www.foxsports.com.au/horse-racing/the-everest-like-dislike-and-verdict-on-every-runner-in-the-race/news-story/d0fb6934c20c716813c233302c0a7372″,”sectionCaption”:”Horse Racing”},”subtitle”:”The Everest: Like, Dislike and Verdict on every runner in the race”,”title”:”Verdict: Who will win The Everest”,”seoHeadline”:”The Everest Randwick: Tips, late mail and best bet”,”keywords”:[“BEN HAYES”,”grand final”,”winning combination”,”length win”,”impressive record”,”owner-trainer combination warranting”,”combination warranting respect”,”Australian sprinter”,”Japanese representatives favour”,”start winner”,”Japanese middle-distance runner”,”beating class gallopers”,”grabbing performance”,”home track”,”high-quality sprinters”,”form line”,”track records”,”track conditions”,”fairytale result”,”black class level”,”KRIS LEES”,”country horse”,”class filly”,”MATTHEW DALE”,”run home”,”ultra-consistent three-year-old”,”failed Japanese middle-distance”,”British sprinter”,”career-best form”,”Australian starts”,”final field”,”three-year-old carrying”,”metropolitan scene”,”Sydney”,”New South Wales”,”Australia”,”Australia and New Zealand”,”Oceania”,”England”,”Northern Europe”,”Europe”,”Queensland”,”Brisbane”,”Tim Williams”,”Craig Williams”,”Corey Brown”,”David Hayes”,”Gai Waterhouse”,”Vega Magic”,”Chris Waller”,”Kris Lees”,”Jockey Kerrin McEvoy”],”thumbnailImageLink”:”https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/8c3fc2baa61258cb0e3e512c49905a1e?width=320&height=240″,”originalSource”:”The Daily Telegraph”,”byline”:”Tim Williams”,”bylineNames”:[“Tim Williams”],”paragraphs”:[{“contentType”:”HTML”,”html”:”

1. CHAUTAUQUA (5) 58.5KG (MICHAEL, WAYNE & JOHN HAWKES) BRENTON AVDULLA

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The world’s best sprinter has been below his best in two starts this preparation, yet still sits on the second line of betting, this says it all.

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LIKES: At his best, ‘The Grey Flash’ wins the first running of the Everest. Chautauqua reeled off highly impressive late sectionals in the Premiere Stakes and The Shorts, and this has been his grand final for some time.

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DISLIKES: While Chautauqua has always had a get back style of racing, he’s found himself particularly deep in the field in his two starts this preparation. Among such high-quality sprinters, he can ill afford to give the leaders too big a start for the run home on this Randwick track.

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VERDICT: Will need to lift but has every chance of being first past the finishing post. If the tempo is fast as expected it will suit Chautauqua perfectly with his sustained speed. He is a near certainty to be reeling in the leaders late, but how big a margin will he have to chase?

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RAY AND DUFF: Form experts dissect The Everest

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COP THE TIP: Expert tips for The Everest

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2. VEGA MAGIC (10) 58.5KG (DAVID & BEN HAYES & TOM DABERNIG) CRAIG WILLIAMS

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A West Australian sprinter bidding for five wins on the trot. Vega Magic boasts an incredible record of 12 wins from 17 attempts, with his last start demolition job in the Memsie Stakes his most impressive.

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LIKES: Transferred to the Hayes stable in 2017 and is unbeaten since the move under big weights against quality opposition.

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DISLIKES: Although beating class gallopers over 1200-1400m, Vega Magic is yet to come up against the best genuine sprinters in the country. Also a question on the fact he is yet to run in Sydney. Has drawn poorly in gate 10.

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VERDICT: While knocks are hard to come by, facing this group of sprinters will prove a serious test. Vega Magic could well figure in the finish, however he may just find the final dash a fraction too quick. Reluctantly avoiding at the $6 quote with Chautauqua a better prospect at the same odds.

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3. REDZEL (4) 58.5KG (PETER AND PAUL SNOWDEN) KERRIN MCEVOY

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Boasts arguably the strongest form line coming into the sprint with a 1.5 length win in the Shorts, a race touted as the ‘mini-Everest’. Redzel hasn’t finished outside the top two in his past seven starts, all at black class level.

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LIKES: Comes into the race off the back of four straight wins — three at Royal Randwick — has lumped big weights in the process, handles all track conditions and has drawn well. Will also be on pace giving it every chance to win the dash.

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DISLIKES: Will he have enough in the tank over the final 50m to hold out the chasers?

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VERDICT: In such an openly contested field, Redzel could just be the runner ticking the most boxes despite sitting on the fourth line of betting at $7.

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4. REDKIRK WARRIOR (3) 58.5KG (DAVID & BEN HAYES & TOM DABERNIG) REGAN BAYLISS

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The lightly raced seven-year-old became the first Newmarket winner (March 2017) in 100-years to achieve the feat first up from a spell. Has done his best work over 1200m after running much of his career over longer distances in Hong Kong and England.

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LIKES: A strong 2.5 length win up the Flemington straight to start his spring campaign shot the British sprinter into Everest contention. Races well fresh and has had plenty of hype for this race from trainer David Hayes for a long time.

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DISLIKES: Yet to place in two starts in Sydney, both at group one level over longer distances, although heavy tracks didn’t play into his favour.

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VERDICT: His Newmarket win was highly impressive but will be 6kgs up in weight from that race. Having been almost flawless over 1200m in just three attempts he could very well be in the finish — provided it is not too wet.

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5. CLEARLY INNOCENT (6) 58.5KG (KRIS LEES) HUGH BOWMAN

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A former country horse that’s made his presence felt on the metropolitan scene over the past year. Has gone from strength to strength since being taken over by Kris Lees at the beginning of 2017.

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Hugely impressive runs in Brisbane in May put his name in contention for the Everest.

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LIKES: Confirmed his spot in the race following an impressive third in the Premiere Stakes lumping 58.5kg behind In Her Time over the track and distance. Hugh Bowman in the saddle another huge boost.

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DISLIKES: May deliver his best over another furlong.

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VERDICT: A win may be a stretch too far for Clearly Innocent but following his run in the Premiere Stakes it can’t be ignored at decent odds. Any rain will significantly boost his chances.

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6. DEPLOY (7) 58.5KG (GERALD RYAN) JOSH PARR

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1300m and 1200m track records at Rosehill and Randwick respectively over his past two starts earned the Chris Waller gelding a start in The Everest.

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LIKES: An ultra-consistent five-year-old placed in 14 of 16 starts to date, entering the race in career-best form.

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DISLIKES: A substantial step up in class.

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VERDICT: Deploy is flying but is hard to read as a vastly improved galloper over his past two starts. The rise in class is a serious question but after breaking the 1200m Randwick track record in August he must be considered.

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7. FELL SWOOP (8) 58.5KG (MATTHEW DALE) TYE ANGLAND

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Canberra’s representative was just a $45,000 purchase and will fly the flag for those hoping for a fairytale result in the Everest.

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LIKES: Has a great third up record and finished third behind Chautauqua and English in the TJ Smith at the same stage, track and distance in the autumn.

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DISLIKES: Has just one win in the past two years in a weak Group 2 field at Doomben.

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VERDICT: Can run a race although appears out of his depth in this field. Would be happy to put a line through had it not been for an impressive TJ Smith run in April that can’t be ignored.

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8. BRAVE SMASH (9) 58.5KG (DARREN WEIR) JAMIE SPENCER

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The failed Japanese middle-distance runner was purchased by the Australian Bloodstock Syndicate as a sprinter with an eye on The Everest.

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LIKES: Trained by Darren Weir.

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DISLIKES: Untested in anything near this class as a sprinter with three Australian starts proving unconvincing to challenge at this level.

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VERDICT: The owner-trainer combination warranting respect is the only real factor falling in the Japanese representatives favour. Highly unlikely to contest at the finish.

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9. ENGLISH (12) 56.5KG (GAI WATERHOUSE AND ADRIAN BOTT) BLAKE SHINN

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Produced arguably the best run in the Premiere Stakes last start when overcoming plenty of traffic to finish second to In Her Time over 1200m at Randwick.

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LIKES: Has superb form over the track and distance, including a 0.2 length second to Chautauqua in the TJ Smith in the autumn. Has the aid of Gai Waterhouse and Blake Shinn at their home track.

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DISLIKES: Doesn’t have the win record of other contenders, however the fact she hasn’t raced below group 2 level since her win on debut makes this largely irrelevant. In a blow to her chances has drawn the widest barrier.

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VERDICT: Gai Waterhouse knows how to set this horse for its grand final and The Everest is just that. One of the key chances.

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10. SHE WILL REIGN (2) 51KG (GARY PORTELLI) COREY BROWN

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The Golden Slipper winner is the favourite for the $10 million race and may well extend her impressive record to eight wins from nine starts.

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LIKES: The ultra-consistent three-year-old will carry a very light weight, loves Royal Randwick, has handled all surfaces to date and is sure to fly home against her older opposition.

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DISLIKES: Hard to find a knock on this class filly other than the rise in class she will face against a bumper crop of sprinters she’s yet to meet in her career. Despite this, her dashing run in the Moir against a strong field just a fortnight ago suggests she will again be up to the challenge.

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VERDICT: A deserved favourite who should have every chance at glory under the lightweight.

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11. HOUTZEN (1) 51KG (TOBY EDMONDS) JEFF LLOYD

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An intriguing Brisbane filly with an impressive record of five wins from seven starts. Returned to winning ways as an unconvincing last start winner against weaker opposition in the Scarborough Stakes. Was a world-beater in Queensland before somewhat struggling in three runs down south.

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LIKES: Like She Will Reign, Houtzen is a three-year-old filly carrying very little weight on her back. Likely to lead after drawing nicely in barrier one and can figure in the finish if she finds her vast amounts of potential

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DISLIKES: Is yet to match anything near the class of The Everest field and may find herself out of her depth at Royal Randwick.

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VERDICT: Appears to be outclassed by this calibre of competitors, however in such an open field could be one at big odds if she can deliver on her hype over the past 12 months.

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12. TULIP (11) 51KG (DAVID & BEN HAYES & TOM DABERNIG) TIM CLARK

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Tulip is perhaps the runner considered the luckiest to make the final field for The Everest. Its best run to date is a third in the Golden Slipper beaten convincingly by She Will Reign and has disappointed as favourite in two starts this preparation.

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LIKES: Another three-year-old carrying little on her back for the trip down the Randwick 1200m. Trainer David Hayes says the filly is going as well as any other in his stable.

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DISLIKES: Yet to place at Randwick in two attempts and with no real headline grabbing performance in her career so far.

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VERDICT: Happy to put the line through Tulip.

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FINAL VERDICT AND TIPS

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1) Redzel

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2) Chautauqua

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3) She Will Reign

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4) English

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Roughie: Houtzen

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In an incredibly open field for the inaugural The Everest the chances are endless.

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With a forward running style suiting the Randwick track I’m backing Redzel to marginally edge out a typically fast-finishing Chautauqua. She Will Reign and English will also be flying at the finish and will be hard to hold out.

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