The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The Joe Pride-trained Private Eye was huge all but locking in his $20 million The Everest start after an upset win in the 2023 The Shorts results at Randwick.
In a day full of emotion for Pride, who officially farewelled his great sprinter Eduardo, it was a passing of the baton onto Al Maher six-year-old Private Eye who is now likely to represent his trainer in the world’s richest turf race on October 14.
Pride already has his Kingsford Smith Cup – Stradbroke Handicap double winner from the winter Think About It running in The Everest field for slot holders Newgate Farm & GPI Racing.
He was confident heading into The Shorts that post-race Private Eye would be joining his stablemate, and his foresight should prove true as remaining slot-holders look to lock in the impressive winner.
“I know there is a fair bit of improvement to come. I’ve said all week, he starts his preparations off really well, he’s a good fresh horse. But I’ve trained him a bit differently this time in. I haven’t been too hard on him and I’d be surprised if he didn’t improve significantly at his next couple of runs,” Pride told Sky Thoroughbred Central after the victory.
“He’s an absolute chameleon. I was saying to my guys today ‘I’ve got to stop trying to psycho-analyse this horse’. I swore this morning he was going to come here and be a real handful, run well but be a real handful, and he came here and he was as quiet as a lamb.
“He’s a horse that’s run a mile, he’s a horse that’s now won a Group race over 1100m. He’s an unbelievable horse but he keeps changing and I’ve got to keep up with him as he’s changing.”
Private Eye was runner-up under a half-length off the three-year-old winner Giga Kick in last year’s The Everest results.
He returned to his best fresh first-up in the Group 2 $1 million The Shorts (1100m) on 7 Stakes Day with an arrogant win thanks to another 10/10 ride by Nash Rawiller.
From there he gave his old mate Eduardo a farewell pat before jumping on Private Eye for a masterful ride on the $12 pop in the day’s second million-dollar showdown.
“It’s an emotional day, isn’t it? Great to see Think It Over back and sad to see another old champ leave (Eduardo),” Rawiller said.
“Thanks to my manager and the same with Joe (Pride). The writing was on the wall a month ago that I may not have an Everest ride and he said ‘if something happens and Eduardo’s not there for us, you can ride this bloke’.
“I knew he’d come good for us at the right time, he’s just a magnificent horse.”
Private Eye was huge having done plenty of work after popping out to at the half-mile three-deep and facing the breeze the whole way before picking them up and flying through the line.
After sitting wide throughout the eventual winner came for them right down the outside on the home straight and got there by the bob of his head for a narrow win right on the line over the front-runner Overpass ($5) who stuck on well for second.
In a nice third three-quarters off the winner was the Matthew Smith-trained Buenos Noches ($7.50) who also ran a good potential The Everest trial making up late ground before flashing home after coming back in distance and getting held up the early stages.
Pre-field 2023 The Everest odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au have Private Eye into $11 with a slot holder sure to be announced next week.
Pride said he would now consider a next-up run for Private Eye in the Group 2 $1 million Premiere Stakes (1200m) on September 30 ahead of The Everest.
“A bit of thinking to do whether we go to the Premiere with him or straight to The Everest, but we’ll take a deep breath and have a think about that,” he said.
“I’m pretty confident, all things being well, I’ll have two runners in The Everest. The two horses deserve to be there. That was exciting, I figured he was going to come back to what he was doing last spring, but you can never count on it.
“What you do at home doesn’t simulate that kind of pressure and it was the race pressure that was going to go either way for him today. He thrived on it, he looked a little bit tired late but he kept finding.”
Click here for the full all-in The Everest betting markets.
2023 The Shorts Results & Finishing Order
|1||1||PRIVATE EYE||Joseph Pride||Nash Rawiller||9||58kg||$12|
|2||4||OVERPASS||Bjorn Baker||Joshua Parr||0.19L||1||57kg||$5|
|3||6||BUENOS NOCHES||Matthew Smith||Dylan Gibbons (a)||0.66L||3||56kg||$7.50|
|4||5||IN SECRET||James Cummings||Zac Lloyd (a)||1.13L||4||56kg||$3.10F|
|5||7||REMARQUE||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Tyler Schiller||1.28L||2||56kg||$8|
|6||9||HAWAII FIVE OH||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Adam Hyeronimus||1.76L||5||56kg||$16|
|7||8||RUTHLESS DAME (NZ)||Ciaron Maher & David Eustace||Jason Collett||3.45L||7||56kg||$26|
|8||10||ROCKETING BY||David Pfieffer||Ms Rachel King||3.79L||6||56kg||$101|
|9||2||MAZU||Peter & Paul Snowden||Regan Bayliss||3.88L||10||58kg||$26|
|10||11||ATHELRIC||James Cummings||Jean Van Overmeire||4.02L||12||55kg||$26|
|11||3||LOST AND RUNNING (NZ)||John O’Shea||Chad Schofield||4.8L||8||57kg||$8.50|
|12||12||CASINO LORD||Cody Morgan||Tom Sherry||4.87L||11||55kg||$201|
Table Credit: Racing Australia.
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