The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
An early preview to the $15 million The Everest on October 17 takes place at the Randwick track in Sydney on Saturday with the likes of Nature Strip and Classique Legend facing off in the Premiere Stakes 2020.
A key feature on the Epsom Handicap Day card, this season’s Group 2 $500,000 Premiere Stakes (1200m) serves as a nice lead-up into the world’s richest handicap and it is The Everest favourite Nature Strip also leading betting on the weekend.
Chris Waller’s star son of Nicconi is top of the all-in The Everest odds at $3.60 through Ladbrokes.com.au and is odds-on at $1.85 to win the Premiere Stakes second-up.
The $5 million earner, fourth in last year’s The Everest results, was beaten as the $1.35 top elect fresh in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) beaten home by Adelaide’s giant killer Gytrash.
The markets suggest Nature Strip will return to his best second-up as he is known to do getting up to his pet distance on the weekend.
The danger occupying the second line of Premiere Stakes betting for Saturday at $3 is the Les Bridge-trained Classique Legend.
Another horse confirmed for a second run in The Everest having placed sixth last year, the classy grey looked the goods first-up with a powerhouse win in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m).
Kerrin McEvoy retains the ride second-up on Saturday with Classique Legend looking to add to his commanding Randwick record (6:3-1-1) and show he can match it with Nature Strip ahead of The Everest.
Ten of the 12 slots in The Everest field have now been filled with only James Harron Bloodstock and Chris Waller to announce their contenders.
One or both of those remaining positions could be filled after the Premiere Stakes is run and won on Epsom Day should an upset occur from one of the other six runners further down the markets.
Outside of the top two in betting, the other best backed mover is the Joe Pride-trained Fasika ($12 into $10).
Pride’s sprinter Eudardo has been confirmed as the Mieverest replacement for Rothfire in the big one, and on Saturday So You Think mare Fasika will be out to put her name forward to join her stablemate.
The five-year-old jumps from barrier three with Brenton Avdulla aboard and is looking to atone for a first-up flop when finishing a mid-field eighth in the Group 2 Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on September 12.
2020 Premiere Stakes Field
|Ms Rachel King
|Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou
|Peter & Paul Snowden
|LORD VON COSTA
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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