The Ben, Will & JD Hayes-trained Cox...
The Clayton Douglas-trained reigning champion Giga Kick has been sensationally withdrawn from the $20 million The Everest 2023 field.
Last year’s champion was favourite to go back-to-back in the world’s richest turf race on October 14 at Randwick but will not get a chance to defend his title due to a torn gluteal muscle.
The four-year-old son of Scissor Kick suffered the injury during his first-up third as the beaten odds-on favourite after missing the kick and receiving a controversial ride in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at The Valley on September 9.
Giga Kick has been ruled out of not only The Everest but all future spring racing targets after a veterinary assessment advised there was “insufficient time to have the horse recovered and ready for his spring targets”.
Giga Kick was at $4.50 in all-in The Everest odds online at Ladbrokes.com.au at the time of his withdrawal.
“I have arguably the best horse in the country, who was set to have a great spring running in races carrying $30 million in prizemoney, but unfortunately he is going to the paddock. That’s racing,” Douglas told Racenet after the devastating news.
“I am still amazed that he only got beaten two and a half lengths last start after missing the start by two lengths and injuring himself in the race, after what Craig (Williams) acknowledged was a poor ride.
“I can’t be prouder of my horse, who is tough and brave and he will come back for what will hopefully be a drama free autumn preparation.”
Slot holder James Harron Bloodstock is now looking for a replacement sprinter to represent them in The Everest field next month, while jockey James McDonald has also been left without a ride.
There are 12 The Everest slots in total, with five now left to fill.
Chris Waller Racing, Coolmore, Godolphin, and Yulong Investments are the other slot holders still left to lock in a runner.
Seven horses outside of the withdrawn Giga Kick have secured their spot in the iconic event, which runs for seventh time this season.
The current confirmed The Everest horses for 2023 are:
- Mazu (The Star & Arrowfield),
- Think About It (Newgate / GPI),
- I Wish I Win (Trackside Media),
- Sunshine In Paris (Aquis),
- Private Eye (Max Whitby & Neil Werrett),
- Overpass (ATC & RAM Racing), and
- Buenos Noches (TAB).
Updated The Everest betting has the Peter Moody & Katherine Coleman-trained I Wish I Win as the new $3.50 favourite.
The five-year-old son of Savabeel has been a star for the Moody stable since his transfer from New Zealand including winning the $10 million Golden Eagle last October as a four-year-old.
His outstanding autumn saw him run in three Group 1 sprints for three top three runs including winning the TJ Smith Stakes at The Everest track and trip in April.
Fresh he was a half-length beaten when third at Caulfield behind the season’s form horse, Mr Brightside, in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) on September 2.
The latest horse to secure a slot in The Everest race meanwhile is Buenos Noches for the TAB.
He is rated an $11 shot in the current markets with the four-year-old son of Supido last seen running third behind fellow The Everest contenders Private Eye and Overpass in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) on September 16.
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