Ciaron Maher & David Eustace’s last start...
The final field for Saturday’s coveted 2020 The Everest race at Royal Randwick has been confirmed and betting on the world’s richest turf race is led by classy grey Classique Legend.
All 12 horses facing off in the $15 million The Everest (1200m) are now locked in with veteran eight-year-old Dollar For Dollar the last minute replacement in the Aquis slot.
Originally Golden Slipper winner Farnan was to contest the weight-for-age feature for the stud, but with the stable opting not to press on with the youngster who has had an interrupted preparation, the call was made to Tony & Calvin McEvoy for Dollar For Dollar.
“What an incredible phone call to get,” Tony McEvoy told Racing NSW.
“What an honour to have someone want to run your horse in the biggest race. Obviously, they’d done their form and chosen him as the horse they wanted to represent them.
“We are humbled and excited and looking forward to the weekend.”
He was runner-up to fellow The Everest contender Behemoth two back in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) before finishing second again last time out at Flemington behind Zoutori in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m).
“He’s continuing to put together personal best performances,” McEvoy said.
“He beat home Tofane and Santa Ana Lane last start in the Gilgai, that’s very good form.
“He’s a similar style of horse to (dual The Everest winner) Redzel, he rolls forward and makes his own luck. It worked twice for Redzel, we’d be happy if it worked just once for our boy.
“We were coming for the Sydney Stakes anyway, now we are racing for a much bigger prize. It’s just incredible.”
The updated The Everest betting markets remain led by the Les Bridge-trained Classique Legend, sixth behind Yes Yes Yes in the event last year.
The ultra-consistent Not A Single Doubt five-year-old has finished out of the money just twice in his 11 career starts and won the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) first-up this campaign.
He was defeated by shock winner Libertini in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) a fortnight back, but is tipped to turn the tables on the fast-finishing mare in the rematch on Saturday.
Classique Legend is paying $4.50 to win The Everest, while the Anthony Cummings-trained Libertini is an early market mover into $6.50 to salute again second-up with Regan Bayliss to ride.
Sandwiched between the two is Gytrash at $5.50, Gordon Richard’s consistent Adelaide visitor racing for the first time since his big win fresh over Nature Strip in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) back in early September.
As for Chris Waller’s one-time favourite Nature Strip, last year’s fourth placegetter is at $6 to atone for his two lead-up losses including the fourth as the beaten odds-on pick in the Premiere Stakes.
Also returning from a run behind Waller’s 2019 The Everest winner Yes Yes Yes in last year’s event are the runner-up Santa Ana Lane and third placed Trekking.
Anthony & Sam Freedman’s now eight-year-old Santa Ana Lane is paying $21 to go one better than 12 months ago with his best recent performance being a second to Nature Strip in the autumn’s Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes.
He comes off a first-up sixth in the Gilgai Stakes when only two lengths beaten and should appreciate the return to Randwick on the weekend.
The Godolphin-raced Trekking is also a value runner at $17 in The Everest final field markets, the son of Street Cry looking to improve on the first-up second at The Valley in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m).
He sees the 1200m for the first time since beating Gytrash home in Morphettville’s Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m) back in May and can surprise at a price for the Royal Blue brigade.
The Everest 2020 barrier draw takes place on Tuesday night at 7:30pm (AEDT).
2020 The Everest Final Field
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||141x411x24||NATURE STRIP||Chris Waller||James McDonald||0||58.5kg||121|
|2||324x7219x2||TREKKING||James Cummings||Joshua Parr||0||58.5kg||116|
|3||x2360x1x12||CLASSIQUE LEGEND||Les Bridge||Kerrin McEvoy||0||58.5kg||115|
|4||225x6266x6||SANTA ANA LANE||Anthony & Sam Freedman||Sam Clipperton||0||58.5kg||115|
|5||184x14x111||BEHEMOTH||David Jolly||Nash Rawiller||0||58.5kg||114|
|6||62x61365x3||BIVOUAC||James Cummings||Glen Boss||0||58.5kg||114|
|7||x2x13212x1||GYTRASH||Gordon Richards||Jason Collett||0||58.5kg||114|
|8||x37x07x112||EDUARDO||Joseph Pride||Ms Rachel King||0||58.5kg||110|
|9||x2308x8522||DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR||Tony & Calvin McEvoy||Tim Clark||0||58.5kg||104|
|10||1x77351x35||TOFANE (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Tommy Berry||0||56.5kg||114|
|11||x1133x49x1||LIBERTINI||Anthony Cummings||Regan Bayliss||0||56.5kg||110|
|12||x111221x17||HAUT BRION HER||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||0||56.5kg||105|
|14e||56x211x345||SPECIAL REWARD||Kris Lees||0||58.5kg||105|
|15e||0x84170x85||TACTICAL ADVANTAGE||Kris Lees||0||58.5kg||105|
|16e||112x160x55||STANDOUT||Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou||0||58.5kg||104|
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