The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Gun mare Sunlight is nominated for a run under the lights at The Valley in Friday night’s Moir Stakes 2019 on way to the $14 million The Everest after scratching out from her scheduled Sydney assignment last weekend.
A wet Randwick track on George Main Stakes Day saw connections of the Tony & Clavin McEvoy-trained Zoustar mare Sunlight avoid a gut-buster second-up for the gun four-year-old in the Group 2 $200,000 The Shorts (1100m).
Instead the $4.3 million earner will race in Melbourne this Friday evening in the Group 1 $1 million Moir Stakes (1000m) ahead of her shot at the richest turf race in the world.
Sunlight is confirmed a slot in the coveted 12-horse $14 million The Everest (1200m) field at Royal Randwick on October 19 representing Max Whitby and Neil Werrett.
The multiple Group 1 winning sprinter has had one previous run at Randwick when third behind the top-rated sprint star and fellow 2019 The Everest hopeful Santa Ana Lane in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).
Sunlight resumed racing at the track in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) running fifth when second last to three-time winner and dual The Everest champion Redzel.
Redzel backed-up in last weekend’s The Shorts running third behind gun youngster Pierata (1st) and the returning Classique Legend (2nd) – the quinella also The Everest-bound this spring.
There was a change of plans however for Sunlight who now runs in the Moir, returning to Moonee Valley for the first time since her Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m) victory back in March.
She pays $5.50 as the second elect in all-in Moir Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au and has now eased out to $15 in futures The Everest betting.
Favourite to win the Moir this season is the Chris Waller-trained Nature Strip ($2.60), the ultra-consistent Nicconi five-year-old also a $17 chance to secure a slot in The Everest field.
Waller is already dually-represented in The Everest with Enticing Star holding his slot, while the also Waller-trained WA expat Arcadia Queen runs for The Star.
A winner of 10 of his 17 career starts to date, Nature Strip has a credible record at The Valley (4:2-1-0) and over the short 1000m of the Moir (8:5-1-0).
Another Concorde Stakes graduate having run fourth first-up, The Galaxy winner should improve second-up and relish running at Moonee Valley as he looks to improve on his eighth to Viddora in last year’s Moir Stakes results.
Godolphin trainer James Cummings has three Moir Stakes nominations this year led by the returning Stradbroke Handicap winner Trekking.
Trekking could be joined in the line-up by stablemates Viridine and gun Snitzel filly Exhilarates.
Exhilarates has won four of her nine career assignments including the Gold Coast $2 million Magic Millions Classic and was last seen saluting at Moonee Valley in the Listed Atlantic Jewel Stakes on September 7.
Other standout Moir Stakes hopefuls include evergreen nine-year-old Ball Of Muscle, Tony Pike’s Group 1 Doomben 10,000 / Kingsford-Smith Cup double winning Kiwi raider The Bostonian, and the Lindsay Park-trained Faatinah coming off a Group 2 win at the track and distance.
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