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Gary Portelli’s dual Group 1 winning filly She Will Reign is tipped as the sprinter to beat in Saturday’s inaugural The Everest 2017 field after coming up trumps with barrier two.
The official line-up for the world’s richest turf race is confirmed as are The Everest barriers for the $10 million sprint feature run over 1200m under weight-for-age conditions at Royal Randwick Racecourse on Saturday.
There are a dozen runners taking to the track in the Restricted feature, plus four emergencies awaiting a withdrawal to earn a chance at the $5.8 million prize money for The Everest winner.
At Tuesday morning’s The Everest barrier draw, conducted in front of the Sydney Harbour, the big winner and hot favourite in updated The Everest odds at Ladbrokes.com.au is She Will Reign in gate two.
Winner of the Group 1 $3.5 million Golden Slipper Stakes (1200m) as a juvenile in the autumn, Manhattan Rain filly She Will Reign was back in elite level winning form first-up for her Melbourne debut.
Under the lights at The Valley on September 29 she took her career record to five wins from six starts with a narrow but impressive victory in the Group 1 A.J. Moir Stakes (1000m).
That combined with the favourable barrier has seen She Will Reign skyrocket to the top of The Everest betting at $4.60 as she prepares to race for Yu Long Investments.
“She will take the shortcut home [from that gate],” Portelli said on Tuesday morning.
“She has been set for this one race – we were lucky enough that when we won the Golden Slipper we had been invited to run in the race and we were able to have a long-range preparation.
“There was no pressure to have a qualifier and we have had a fantastic preparation.
“I just can’t believe the way that she won the other night.
“She is tough bugger and she has bounced back really quickly.”
A total of three fillies take on the older horses in The Everest field with Houtzen and Tulip enjoying mixed barrier luck drawing gates one and 11 respectively.
Both fillies are well down The Everest markets, Toby Edmonds’ last start Group 3 MVRC Champagne Stakes (1200m) winner Houtzen at $26 and the Lindsay Park-trained Golden Slipper placed Tulip a $51 roughie to score the upset.
Suffering a blow with the outside barrier (12 of 12) was the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained English.
Blake Shinn isn’t giving up hope however confirming he would ride the Group 1 winning daughter of Encosta De Lago quietly off the likely hot pace.
“We’ll ride her quietly from the gate and to her strengths,” he said.
“Hopefully they overdo it in front.”
English was impressive in her final The Everest lead-up on September 30, the five-year-old making up plenty of ground late to finish a neck second in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at the same track and distance.
Following She Will Reign in the markets at $6 meanwhile are triple TJ Smith Stakes winner Chautauqua and the Lindsay Park-trained Vega Magic.
Hawkes Racing’s ‘Grey Flash’, Chautauqua drew better than mid-field in gate five and chases his first win since making history with his third Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick during the autumn.
Unplaced twice at Randwick this time in, in his typical fast-finishing style he has been impressive late in both races including the Premiere Stakes sixth and is tipped to be peaking for The Everest Day.
Jockey Brenton Avdulla continues his association on Chautauqua on Saturday, the $8.37 million earner racing for Greg Ingham.
Vega Magic meanwhile will have different race tactics engaged by jockey Craig Williams from a wider gate 10 draw, the flying five-year-old last seen winning the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 2 ahead of his Sydney race debut on the weekend.
2017 The Everest Final Field & Barrier Draw
Randwick Race 8 (4:15pm) – 14/10/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||47x3231x76||CHAUTAUQUA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Brenton Avdulla||5||58.5kg||122|
|2||x9171x1x11||VEGA MAGIC||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Craig Williams||10||58.5kg||115|
|3||81x2211x11||REDZEL||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||4||58.5kg||114|
|4||5x21x105x1||REDKIRK WARRIOR (GB)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Regan Bayliss||3||58.5kg||112|
|5||640x9113x3||CLEARLY INNOCENT||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||6||58.5kg||111|
|6||1111×21411||DEPLOY||Gerald Ryan||Joshua Parr||7||58.5kg||109|
|7||23x6639x68||FELL SWOOP||Matthew Dale||Tye Angland||8||58.5kg||107|
|8||80x344x212||BRAVE SMASH (JPN)||Darren Weir||Jamie Spencer||9||58.5kg||102|
|9||0x17266x42||ENGLISH||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Blake Shinn||12||56.5kg||113|
|10||11x121x1||SHE WILL REIGN||Gary Portelli||Corey Brown||2||51kg||112|
|11||11115×31||HOUTZEN||Toby Edmonds||Jeff Lloyd||1||51kg||97|
|12||124135×24||TULIP||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Tim Clark||11||51kg||83|
|13e||1115x523x1||IN HER TIME||Benjamin Smith||TBA||–||56.5kg||111|
|14e||14163×641||TRAPEZE ARTIST||Gerald Ryan||TBA||–||53kg||102|
|16e||5x63394x25||BALL OF MUSCLE||Joseph Pride||TBA||–||58.5kg||104|
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