The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
Reigning champion Nature Strip will have to overcome the outside alley in order to go back-to-back in the world’s richest turf race on Saturday after drawing gate 12 of 12 in Tuesday’s official The Everest 2022 barrier draw.
Racing NSW conducted a private barrier draw for the sixth edition of the $15 million The Everest (1200m) on Tuesday morning following final acceptances before releasing the gates to the public in a function later that evening.
Having his fourth run in the sprint feature after taking it out last spring at his third attempt, Chris Waller’s Champion Racehorse of the Year Nature Strip has work to do from the extreme outside this weekend.
Jockey James McDonald is in flying form and continues associations with the $19 million earner who is second-up on the back of a strong win fresh in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m).
Inaugural hero Redzel (2017, 2018) is the only two-time The Everest champion to date, but the money suggests evergreen Nicconi eight-year-old Nature Strip can repeat the feat this season.
The classy chestnut, an international Group 1 winner following his barnstorming Kings Stand Stakes victory at Royal Ascot back in June, won The Everest from out in barrier 10 of 12 in 2021.
His wide draw for this weekend then has done little to dampen his chances according to the bookies and punters with favourite odds-on at $1.95 in the latest The Everest odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au.
Occupying the second line of The Everest betting firming into $6.50 is the John O’Shea-trained Lost And Running who was two lengths beaten when fourth from barrier two in the race last year.
The now six-year-old presents fit third-up in terrific form for his second shot at The Everest trophy having improved on a third in The Shorts to win the Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) on a wet track on October 1.
Lost And Running is drawn favourably midfield in barrier 7 for jockey Hugh Bowman this year, and the proven mudlark gets conditions to suit with another likely Heavy Randwick track for The Everest Day.
The rest of The Everest field can be found at double-figures to score an upset including the $10 third elect Eduardo ($10) in barrier nine for his third run in the weight-for-age event.
Eleventh to Classique Legend in 2020 before an improved third in last spring’s The Everest results, Eduardo may be a nine-year-old but he continues to show a zest for racing.
He has not finished worse than fourth in his six runs since last year’s race and was last seen finishing fourth in The Shorts under two lengths beaten.
That was on a Soft (7) and prior to that he relished a Heavy (9) track to win the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m).
A genuine wet tracker with ace form on Heavy going (6:4-1-0), Eduardo is firming to finish in the money again.
Trainer Joe Pride saddles Private Eye -up two The Everest contenders this spring with ($14) also gaining a start for Inglis in place of the injured Memsie Stakes winning mare Snapdancer.
Al Maher five-year-old Private Eye comes off an eye-catching first-up win in Flemington’s Group 2 Gilgai Stakes (1200m) when carrying 60kg to a 2.25 length win fresh at the start of the month.
He is proven on Heavy going (5:2-0-1) and gets a gun run in his acid test against the country’s best sprinters from barrier three.
The three-year-old The Everest horses out to emulate Yes Yes Yes (2019) in beating home the more seasoned sprinters, Golden Rose champion Jacquinot ($10) and undefeated Danehill Stakes winner Giga Kick ($21), both drew well with barriers two and five respectively.
The other best fancied in latest The Everest odds include 2021 runner-up Masked Crusader ($13) inn last year’s winning barrier 10 and the winter’s Doomben 10,000 winner Mazu ($17) for Peter & Paul Snowden one wider in barrier 11.
2022 The Everest Final Field & Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Probable Weight||Penalty||Hcp Rating|
|1||11x231x1x1||NATURE STRIP||Chris Waller||James McDonald||12||58.5kg||123|
|2||131x312x14||EDUARDO||Joseph Pride||Nash Rawiller||9||58.5kg||118|
|3||4421x10x31||LOST AND RUNNING (NZ)||John O’Shea||Hugh Bowman||7||58.5kg||115|
|4||126x579x63||MASKED CRUSADER||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||William Pike||10||58.5kg||113|
|5||1x11111x52||MAZU||Peter & Paul Snowden||Sam Clipperton||11||58.5kg||113|
|6||85x35082x1||PRIVATE EYE||Joseph Pride||Brenton Avdulla||3||58.5kg||113|
|7||x121557x26||OVERPASS||Bjorn Baker||Ms Rachel King||6||58.5kg||109|
|8||38x5873x12||INGRATIATING||James Cummings||Glyn Schofield||4||58.5kg||104|
|9||20x44x17x1||JOYFUL FORTUNE||Mark Newnham||Tom Sherry||1||58.5kg||77|
|10||111xP21111||SHADES OF ROSE||Bjorn Baker||Kerrin McEvoy||8||56.5kg||102|
|11||1536×11||JACQUINOT||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Damian Lane||2||53kg||102|
|12||1×111||GIGA KICK||Clayton Douglas||Craig Williams||5||53kg||90|
|13e||x211148x68||FORBIDDEN LOVE||Michael Freedman||0||56.5kg||113|
|14e||4133x210x5||APACHE CHASE||Desleigh Forster||0||58.5kg||110|
|16e||1210x329x6||IN THE CONGO||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||0||58.5kg||105|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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