The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller could still fill his slot in the inaugural The Everest race field with his exciting sprinter Omei Sword after finding excuses for her failed first-up run from the weekend.
The four-year-old daughter of High Chaparral raced for the first time since March taking on a smart field of fellow sprinters at Royal Randwick in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) on Saturday.
Things went amiss for last year’s Golden Rose runner-up however with barrier issues seeing the Show County favourite unable to get away clear, evidenced by her bleeding lip post-race.
“She had a bleeding lip straight after the race, of all things, and that was the least of my worries,” Waller told RSN on Sunday.
“Her legs didn’t cross, she didn’t appear to stand on herself, her front legs just didn’t work. They weren’t there. There was no landing gear.
“The poor thing’s gone down on her knees, there’s grass stains on her knees, and her poor old head helped her stay balanced and get back up.”
Waller then was thrilled with the mare’s fifth, beating only 2.3 lengths by the winner Deploy.
Hoop Kerrin McEvoy also rated the performance as brave, believing Omei Sword was also disadvantaged on the firm going at Randwick.
Omei Sword was one of the top fillies from the autumn of 2016 but hasn’t won a race since the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes that August.
Options remain open for her upcoming Sydney Spring Racing Carnival preparation, including a possible shot at the Restricted $10 million The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14.
Bookmakers around the country including Ladbrokes.com.au reacted to the mare’s first-up loss, her price in futures The Everest betting extending out to $51.
Waller is also looking at an earlier run on September 23 at Rosehill Gardens for Omei Sword in the Group 2 $400,000 Golden Pendant (1400m).
The 2017 Golden Pendant takes place on Golden Rose Stakes Day, where Omei Sword finished a brave second behind Astern in the Group 1 for three-year-olds last September.
Early markets for this spring’s Golden Rose Stakes are led by Menari ($7).
The Gerald Ryan-trained Snitzel colt put the writing on the wall in his resuming run on August 12, winning the Listed The Rosebud (1100m) for his first win since a successful Randwick debut back in mid-January.
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