The Everest – Group Zero!

Saturday’s Everest is a great credit to NSWR CEO Peter V’Landys. Only he could have brought this concept to fruition. NSW Racing is the richer for it. Well done, Peter!

It is also a credit to the sportsmanship of the slot holders, as the sweepstakers are called. They, as a group, have invested $7.2M and will share the $10M up for grabs (with the owners, trainers and jockeys, most likely taking 57.5%, leaving the slot holders with 42.5%).

Racing NSW has been rewarded with an exceptional sprint. I think, the strongest I’ve ever seen. Seven individual Group One winners, the reigning Golden Slipper and Magic Millions winners and two track record holders. It is yet to be allocated black type but I’m classing it as a Group Zero!

Moreover, it is an even and fascinating field. It will also be a high-pressure race, with abundant speed.

I expect the betting will be “4/1 the field” i.e. $5 the favourite. Wide betting for a weight-for-age race!

Fascinating because intelligent form analysts will take different views. For instance, the outstanding Golden Slipper winner, She Will Reign, who trounced her opposition in the Group One Moir Stakes a fortnight ago will probably be favourite. But I could mark a few ahead of her, in spite of 7.5 kilos (more than a stone in ‘old money’) she’ll receive from most of the runners, under the WFA scale. Thank goodness for differing opinions.

Leading owners Max Whitby (Savabeel fame), Neil Werrett (Black Caviar), Steve McCann and Colin Madden have made an inspired, if slow to be made, choice in Vega Magic. In the new stable, the former West Australian sprinter has improved out of all knowledge. He’ll be the ‘soft way’ in my betting book.

With the strong pace of the Everest, my good-wife Gai’s charge, English will come into her own, helped by her two kilos allowance from the males. Her owners, the Kellys from Newhaven Park, like her ridden patiently. Great tactics here.

The Daily Telegraph – October 13, 2017

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