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Gytrash has secured a slot in the coveted 12-horse $15 million The Everest race this spring with the classy sprinter to represent Inglis in the world’s richest turf race on October 17.
The Gordon Richards-trained Adelaide star joins Nature Strip (TAB) and Classique Legend (Bon Ho) as the three horses confirmed a spot in the weight-for-age The Everest field in 2020 at Royal Randwick.
“Gytrash ticks all the boxes, he’s proven at the top level, his on-speed racing pattern is favourable, he’s proven on both dry and wet tracks and in 19 career starts he’s only been out of the top three once,” Inglis Managing Director Mark Webster told the media this week.
“He really has become a giant killer of racing, you only need to look at the scalps he accrued during his autumn campaign to see that on his day he is at the very least every bit as good as the other leading sprinters around.
“He’s a lightly-raced five-year-old who we believe is the best up-and-coming sprinter in the country and we can’t wait for these next two months as we target The Everest with Gordon Richards and Gytrash’s connections.”
A five-year-old son of Lope De Vega, Gytrash is set to journey up from Morphettville after a track gallop this weekend to the Warwick Farm stables of Clare Cunningham to embark on a Sydney Spring Racing Carnival raid.
His spring prep is set to kick off with a mouth-watering clash with Bivouac in the Group 3 $160,000 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on September 5.
The Concorde Stakes has been dominated by dual The Everest champion Redzel, who won the opening two editions of the buy-in feature, for the past three years and could again uncover the horse to beat come October.
Following the Concorde Stakes Richards said Gytrash would race second-up in either the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) on September 19 or the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) on October 3.
“We’ve set our sights high and now that we have the luxury of having a slot secured through Inglis so early it means we can take our time with him and ensure he’s peaking on one day and one day only, and that’s Everest day,” Richards told Racing NSW.
“It takes the pressure off. We were always coming up to race but to know we have the spot and don’t have to worry about it any more is fantastic.”
A winner of eight of his 19 starts to date, Gytrash is a fresh race specialist best known for his upset Flemington win in February’s Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) as a $21 outsider.
He went on to frank that form with two more Melbourne Group 1 placings when third to Bivouac in the Newmarket Handicap down the straight six at HQ and second at The Valley in the William Reid Stakes behind smart filly Loving Gaby.
Gytrash had two runs in the autumn at home winning the Group 3 RN Irwin Stakes (1100m) first-up defeating Sunlight, before his devastatingly close second behind Trekking in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) in mid-May.
“It’s not just form around them, he’s beaten them a lot of the time,” Richards said.
“Even if he hasn’t won the race, they’ve finished behind him. Someone said to me if Gai Waterhouse or Chris Waller had him they’d be all over him.
“I understand that, we’re over here in the backwater in South Australia but it doesn’t mean we can’t get a horse. We’re happy to be underdogs.”
Gytrash will be ridden by Clare Cunningham’s partner, top jockey Jason Collett, throughout the spring and Richards couldn’t be happier to have the hoop aboard.
“I’m a bit of a rap for the jockey so it works out well, Clare’s a very good horsewoman and she’ll look after him and do the right thing. It’s a win-win situation,” he said.
“I’d have small bets on races around Australia killing time between races and I always look to the ones he’s riding and he rides very well.
“He’ll get to know the horse and it’s a no brainer, it’s one of my best decisions apart from buying the horse.”
Bivouac occupies the second line of betting at $10 alongside Classique Legend, to be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, while Gytrash can be found at slightly longer The Everest odds of $12.
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