High stakes horse racing comes to Australia on Saturday with the first running of the $10m Everest over six furlongs (1200m) at Randwick in Sydney. This is the richest turf race in the world, inspired by the model of the Pegasus Stakes at Gulfstream Park, Florida, in January.
The 12 slots were sold at $600,000 each as fungible assets – purchasers can use them, or they can be leased or sold. In theory, this increases the quality of the horses taking part in this top-class weight-for-age sprint.
The connections of the 12 starters scheduled to spring the gates are listed in barrier order in the table:
There are 12 different owners, ten different trainers and ten different sires. The TRC Global Rankings of these connections are as follows:
As a rule in global racing, the ranks of competitors in sprints is generally lower than in mile and middle-distance races. This is generally because the majority of the best sires in the world happen to get horses which stay beyond a mile – Galileo, Dubawi, Deep Impact, Sea The Stars and Teofilo, for instance. Sprints tend to give lower-ranked connections a chance to win the big prizes, and, since the rankings began in 2011, there is a much greater diversity in rank among winners.
Australia is the global hotbed of sprinting though. You would be unlikely to see a top-notch European sprint replete with runners by the stallions listed above, but the Everest has representatives of Snitzel, Fastnet Rock, Not A Single Doubt and I Am Invincible – respectively our #2 to #5 ranked sires with modal country Australia. Only the absence of a Teofilo prevents a full set of top five stallions.
As sprinting is something of an enclave at the planetary level, you can see better where the Everest connections rank relative to each other in the following table:
Chatauqua probably deserves to be regarded as the most talented horse, but now it is clear based on human participation that our ‘pick’ on rankings would be Redzel. His jockey is the brilliant Kerrin McEvoy, who was on board when the son of Snitzel (TRC Sire Global Rank #13) won a G3 over five furlongs at the track on his penultimate start. He gets the extra furlong well.
Redzel has won four on the bounce and is a credit to owners Triple Crown Syndicate, but we would take the owner rankings in a race like this with a pinch of salt.
Redzel’s trainers Peter & Paul Snowden are, of course, masters of their craft, and although Chautauqua is a better horse on the pick of his form, you couldn’t rule out Redzel putting up a career best, even above the Racing Post Rating (RPR) of 120 he earned last time. His hard-charging grey rival (RPR 125) will be hard to beat though.
Brave Smash has the leading Australian trainer Darren Weir (TRC Trainer Global Rank #5) in his corner and looks another intriguing contender.