Millions of race fans throughout America, Europe and beyond will be able to watch the first running of The Everest, the world’s richest turf race, which takes place at Randwick in Sydney tomorrow (or in the middle of tonight for some in the Northern Hemisphere).
The A$10 million race - which features the world’s highest-rated sprinter, Chautauqua, Golden Slipper heroine She Will Reign and five other G1 winners - is off at 4.15 pm Sydney time, which translates to 6.15 am in Britain and Ireland, where it will be screened live on the At The Races TV channel.
It is also available in North America (race time is 1.15 am EDT, or 10:15 pm PDT tonight) via Sky Racing World.
Past performances are available free on the Sky Racing site, where the Everest card will be analyzed by Sky Racing’s Jason Witham and TVG’s Candice Hare, who will be broadcasting live from Randwick on TVG1 and TVG2.
A field of 12 will go to the gate, with the betting currently favouring three horses. Likely market leader is the 5-year-old Vega Magic (4/1), who is in blistering form. The Lope de Vega gelding is one of three runners for the Lindsay Park training team of David Hayes, son Ben and Tom Dabernig (world-ranked 18). He won the G1 Memsie Stakes in Melbourne last month to complete a run of four straight wins.
Early favourite She Will Reign (11/2) has weakened in the market amid sustained support for Vega Magic. The 3-year-old filly has also given way to 7-year-old Chautauqua (9/2), who has won the last three runnings of the T J Smith Stakes, over the same Randwick six furlongs but has yet to hit form so far this term.
Watch the video below to see Chautauqua at his best - but you won't see an awful lot of him early on.
Sky Racing World has also partnered with Daily Racing Form for a free online handicapping contest, The Everest Tournament, taking place tonight. Winners will receive a free trip worth $6,000 to Australia for Day One of The Championships at Randwick on Saturday, April 7, 2018.
New call over Hunter Valley mining plan
The field for the Everest is dominated by progeny of stallions from Arrowfield, Coolmore and Yarraman Park studs in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales, representing 83 percent of the field, and that has brought renewed calls from breeders over new mining proposals for the area.
Hunter Thoroughbred Breeders Association president Cameron Collins said: “The Hunter Valley’s Thoroughbred breeding industry is the powerhouse producer of racing champions in Australia and internationally recognised as a major source of Group 1 winners.
“We are world renowned for breeding and nurturing champion racehorses that are or can be become international sporting heroes. On the eve of this world-class event for NSW, we are troubled that, despite our important role in breeding these champion Australian athletes, we have no certainty and no signal from the NSW Government that they value and want to keep and protect our future in the Hunter.”
He added: “After six years of pain and uncertainty caused by numerous proposals to mine the Drayton South site and four refusals, we are now facing the possibility of yet another application to mine this site and many more years of uncertainty.
“The decision for the NSW Government is very simple. Do they want to keep Australia’s premier breeding industry, and key feeder industry to Australia's racing industry, in the Hunter or not?
"We want a signal from the NSW Government that it will act on its promises to protect our industry. The Government should refuse to renew the Drayton South exploration licence, act to immediately to change the State Environmental Planning Policy to prohibit mining on the Drayton South site and deliver on its promises to genuinely protect the Hunter’s equine critical cluster.”