The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The biggest crowd to ever witness the world’s richest turf race live were rewarded with a thrilling 2022 The Everest result as Clayton Douglas’s undefeated three-year-old Giga Kick scored an upset win over Private Eye and Mazu.
The first unbeaten The Everest champion in the race’s six-year history, Scissor Kick gelding Giga Kick joined Yes Yes Yes (2019) as the three-year-olds to defeat their older rivals in the weight-for-age Randwick feature sprint.
It was a super ride from superstar jockey Craig Williams and an outstanding training performance from Mornington horseman Douglas who had Giga Kick peaking on the big day.
The up-and-comer came into The Everest field with a flawless four-from-four record having won the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) and Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1100m) at his two latest starts.
Relishing a firming track, Giga Kick ($21) was presented at the right time and was able to storm past the best sprinter in the world.
“I had a lot of confidence in this horse. He’s a really good horse, he’s a superstar. He probably had the ‘potters’ you know, three-year-old and probably wasn’t good enough, but I had a lot of faith in him,” Douglas told the media post-win.
“He’s such a professional and you can see today, with the 53 kilos when ridden like that, he’s electric.
“It’s a bit of a whirlwind, but he wasn’t in the race to make the numbers up and I had a lot of faith in him. He’s a star.
“Watch out, the new kid is on the block!
“I’ve ridden a lot of good horses in my time, and this horse just does things that people haven’t seen. I noted that on Tuesday and people probably thought I was being a bit cocky, but Craig Williams had a lot of faith in this horse.
“He’s a star and I’m so rapt for the owners, rapt for Jonathon Munz and James Harron, he put his neck on the line to take a three-year-old and do what he’s done. It’s great.”
“There’s a massive team behind me, I work very hard and I’ve got a great bunch of staff. To be honest, it’s a bit of a whirlwind at the moment, but I’m very happy.”
Nature Strip ($1.90) was odds-on to go back-to-back in The Everest, and the $19 million international Group 1 hero was in the lead 300m to go having gone stride for stride with the front-running Eduardo leading up to the home turn.
The challengers came over the final 100m however with Giga Kick flying past the favourite, while the Joe Pride-trained Private Eye ($12) caught the eye in a slashing second for slot holders Inglis.
“He was awesome. I have always been a big fan of him. To see him sprint at that level. I thought I was the winner there for two strides. I had the big horse covered in front of me and then the three-year-old got me late. He was awesome,” Private Eye’s hoop Brenton Avdulla said.
In third was the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Mazu ($18) who just held out Nature Strip for a spot in this year’s The Everest trifecta.
“I couldn’t have been more proud of his effort today. He’s gone super. A different horse to what I have ever ridden today. All he wanted to do was relax. Good signs for the future. It opens up his options. He’s a very good horse now but he’s a superstar in the making being a 4yo. Who knows what is ahead for him,” jockey Sam Clipperton said of the third-placed Mazu.
For winning jockey Williams, The Everest result was made even sweeter after his close second in the inaugural running aboard Vega Magic back in 2017.
“Clayton Douglas, you talk about how young of a trainer he is but he’s well before his time. I’m just lucky to have been part of the ride. My team around me, my family, thank you for everything throughout the years. This is a really big thrill. The inaugural running of it five years ago I finished second on Vega Magic and I thought we had unfinished business,” he said.
There is a chance the best The Everest performers could go around again in Melbourne on November 5 in Flemington’s Group 1 $3 million Champions Sprint (1200m) down the straight.
2022 The Everest Results & Finishing Order
|1||12||GIGA KICK||Clayton Douglas||Craig Williams||5||53kg||$21|
|2||6||PRIVATE EYE||Joseph Pride||Brenton Avdulla||0.44L||3||58.5kg||$12|
|3||5||MAZU||Peter & Paul Snowden||Sam Clipperton||0.96L||11||58.5kg||$18|
|4||1||NATURE STRIP||Chris Waller||James McDonald||0.97L||12||58.5kg||$1.90F|
|5||11||JACQUINOT||Mick Price & Michael Kent (Jnr)||Damian Lane||1.55L||2||53kg||$9|
|6||7||OVERPASS||Bjorn Baker||Ms Rachel King||2.72L||6||58.5kg||$51|
|7||15e||KEMENTARI||James Cummings||Hugh Bowman||2.85L||7||58.5kg||$51|
|8||10||SHADES OF ROSE||Bjorn Baker||Kerrin McEvoy||3.12L||8||56.5kg||$31|
|9||4||MASKED CRUSADER||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||William Pike||3.38L||10||58.5kg||$9|
|10||9||JOYFUL FORTUNE||Mark Newnham||Tom Sherry||4.89L||1||58.5kg||$31|
|11||2||EDUARDO||Joseph Pride||Nash Rawiller||9.21L||9||58.5kg||$9.50|
|12||8||INGRATIATING||James Cummings||Glyn Schofield||11.24L||4||58.5kg||$51|
|3||LOST AND RUNNING (NZ)||John O’Shea||Hugh Bowman||0|
|16e||IN THE CONGO||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||0|
|13e||FORBIDDEN LOVE||Michael Freedman||0|
|14e||APACHE CHASE||Desleigh Forster||0|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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