The Everest

It's the richest race Australia's ever had, so it deserves a mega preview. Mark Haywood returns with an in-depth guide to The Everest.

NSW winners Mark Rhoden picking winners

Nathan Snow:

With all the hype that has built around the inaugural Everest over the last few months, it’s easy to forget there’s an actual horse race at the centre of it!

The good news is the race itself is more than befitting the build-up. It’s the best field of sprinters we can assemble with only possibly In Her Time unlucky to miss a ticket. It’s a cracking race, with all sorts of different form lines, and you can make a genuine winning case for eight of the twelve runners.

There looks to be abundant pace in the race. Houtzen is fast and won’t want to give up gate 1 easily. Even if it does look to take a sit, there’s still plenty of pressure with Redzel and Deploy going forward along with Vega Magic drawn wide having to push the button to cross.

Add to that the carrot of $6m for first and I can’t imagine which jockey wants to be the one to come back and explain to connections why they sat 3 wide rather than push on.

Given this pace scenario, I’m approaching the race looking for horses capable of running a testing 1200m that will sit off the solid tempo and be strong late.

The weather is worth keeping an eye on. The track won’t be as hard as the last few meetings, which suit backmarkers more, but just how wet it may be will depend on rain on the day.

I’m keen to be with Clearly Innocent as my best way in the race, especially at the $14 currently available.  He resumed in the lead up behind In Her Time where the pace was only moderate early. He settled back and late splits were very good. Always improves second up, he gets winkers on, loves the sting out of the ground, the map suits perfectly and has Bowman on. It ticks a lot of boxes for a $14 shot!

Chautauqua looks the main danger. Both runs have been in unsuitable slow races and has been finishing in his usual fast sectionals.

The 1200m with pace on and rain about with the leaders coming back to him are big positives. Add to that the stable are masters at getting a horse to peak on Grand Final day so you can expect improvement and him to be charging home late.

Redkirk Warrior is worth saving on if the track is no worse than dead. Was very impressive early last preparation before doing a good job on wet tracks that it clearly wasn’t handling.

The first up win this time was solid, showing good turn of foot before tiring late so he should take good improvement out of it. Gets a good run tagging the speed and will be strong at the end of 1200m as he has won up to 1500m previously in Australia.

I have enormous respect for She Will Reign and she gets a good run so she fits in next but if you like Deploy, Vega Magic, English or Redzel I wouldn’t dissuade anyone from backing them.

It really is a ripping race but I’m happy to be on Clearly Innocent each way at the odds.

A form guide for each runner is below, along with comments from our Key Bets analyst and professional punter Cameron O’Brien.

1: CHAUTAUQUA

Slot holder: GPI Racing (Greg Ingham)

7YO grey – bay gelding

Barrier: 5 Weight: 58.5kg

Trainer: Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes Jockey: Brenton Avdulla

Breeding: Encosta De Lago / Lovely Jubly

Owners: R & C Legh Racing Pty Ltd, GPI Racing, Gurners Bloodstock Co, Mr G Pulitano, Mr SW Kay, Ms MA Keating, Wright Racing, Throsby Racing.

Career: 30: 13 – 7 – 4 Group 1: 15: 6 – 4 – 3 Good track: 20: 10 – 4 – 2

Randwick: 8: 3 – 1 – 1 1200m: 18: 8 – 6 – 1 Randwick 1200m: 5: 3 – 0 – 0

Prizemoney: $8,376,935

Form: 47x3231x76

Last run: 30-Sep-17, Randwick: 6th of 11, 2.8L, Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m)

Last win: 1-Apr-17, Randwick: Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m)

Biggest wins:

2017 Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (Randwick, 1200m)

2016 Group 1 HKJC Chairmans Sprint (Sha Tin, 1200m)

2016 Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (Randwick, 1200m)

2016 Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (Flemington, 1000m)

2015 Group 1 Manikato Stakes (Moonee Valley, 1200m)

2015 Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (Randwick, 1200m)

Cameron O’Brien:

7yo champion sprinter whose best, it can be argued, is behind him but who still has the ability to win top races. Back in his glory days he could rate 122, but his best last prep was just 116, and he certainly is better now with the sting out of the track. Think he’ll struggle if there’s no rain. Big chance if the track gets some rain on it though.

Best odds: $6.5: Centrebet, CrownBet, PointsBet, William Hill

2: VEGA MAGIC

Slot holder: Max Whitby

5YO chestnut gelding

Barrier: 10 Weight: 58.5

Trainer: David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig Jockey: Craig Williams

Breeding: Lope De Vega / Admirable

Owners: Mr HW Daly, Mr GE Daly.

Career: 17: 12 – 2 – 1 Group 1: 3: 2 – 0 – 0 Good track: 15: 10 – 2 – 1

Randwick: 0: 0 – 0 – 0 1200m: 12: 9 – 1 – 1 Randwick 1200m: 0: 0 – 0 – 0

Prizemoney: $2,034,050

Form: x9171x1x11

Last run: 2-Sep-17, Caulfield: 1st of 11, Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m)

Biggest wins:

2017 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (Caulfield, 1400m)

2017 Group 1 Goodwood (Morphettville, 1200m)

Cameron O’Brien:

7yo champion sprinter whose best, it can be argued, is behind him but who still has the ability to win top races. Back in his glory days he could rate 122, but his best last prep was just 116, and he certainly is better now with the sting out of the track. Think he’ll struggle if there’s no rain. Big chance if the track gets some rain on it though.

Best odds: $5.5: Ladbrokes

3: REDZEL

Slot holder: James Harron Bloodstock

5YO bay gelding

Barrier: 4 Weight: 58.5kg

Trainer: Peter & Paul Snowden Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy

Breeding: Snitzel / Millrich

Owners: Triple Crown Syndications, Ten Players, Mr JN Allen, Walfam No. 2, Mr P Piras, Mr VP Chau, Mr TW Cheng, Mr MR Waddington, Mrs A Gibson, Dr A Kuok, Mr JW Medland, Mr T Kocovski, Mrs P Di Marco, Mr L Halloran, Mr ME Hardwick, Mr BD Playford, Mr DD Yates, Mr A Savage.

Career: 19: 9 – 4 – 1 Group 1: 3: 1 – 1 – 0 Good track: 11: 6 – 2 – 0

Randwick: 7: 4 – 1 – 1 1200m: 4: 2 – 0 – 0 Randwick 1200m: 1: 1 – 0 – 0

Prizemoney: $1,395,250

Form: 81x2211x11

Last run: 16-Sep-17, Randwick: 1st of 9, Group 2 The Shorts (1100m)

Biggest wins:

2017 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (Doomben, 1200m)

Cameron O’Brien:

In career best form, holding 116 ratings both wins this prep, and maps ideally from the great barrier draw. Should at least repeat his 116, which puts him right in the finish. Pretty bullet proof racehorse these days.

Best odds: $8: Luxbet

4: REDKIRK WARRIOR

Slot holder: Star Entertainment Group

7YO chestnut gelding

Barrier: 3 Weight: 58.5kg

Trainer: David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig Jockey: Regan Bayliss

Breeding: Notnowcato / Flag

Owners: Mr MB Lee, Miss YCJ Tam.

Career: 13: 6 – 2 – 0 Group 1: 3: 1 – 0 – 0 Good track: 10: 6 – 1 – 0

Randwick: 2: 0 – 0 – 0 1200m: 3: 2 – 1 – 0 Randwick 1200m: 0: 0 – 0 – 0

Prizemoney: $1,384,020

Form: 5x21x105x1

Last run: 16-Sep-17, Flemington: 1st of 12, Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m)

Biggest wins:

2017 Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (Flemington, 1200m)

Cameron O’Brien:

Flying for Hayes since relocating to Australia, repeated his Newmarket peak figure of 115 last start, again at Flemington. Does he prefer the straight course? Can get an ideal run from the gate.

Best odds: $9.5: Centrebet, William Hill

5: CLEARLY INNOCENT

Slot holder: Damion Flower

6YO bay gelding

Barrier: 6 Weight: 58.5kg

Trainer: Kris Lees Jockey: Hugh Bowman

Breeding: Not A Single Doubt / Penalty

Owners: Cressfield.

Career: 17: 9 – 1 – 2 Group 1: 2: 1 – 0 – 1 Good track: 13: 5 – 1 – 2

Randwick: 4: 1 – 0 – 1 1200m: 4: 1 – 1 – 1 Randwick 1200m: 1: 0 – 0 – 1

Prizemoney: $1,238,600

Form: 640x9113x3

Last run: 30-Sep-17, Randwick: 3rd of 11, 1.2L, Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m)

Last win: 27-May-17, Eagle Farm: Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m)

Biggest wins:

2017 Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (Eagle Farm, 1300m)

Cameron O’Brien:

Roughie with a chance in the race at odds. A luckless 113 resuming and has a big peak last prep  – 120 – although that was on a heavy track. Racing in career best form for Lees though and well over the odds.

Best odds: $15: CrownBet

6: DEPLOY

Slot holder: Chris Waller Racing

5YO bay gelding

Barrier: 7 Weight: 58.5kg

Trainer: Gerald Ryan Jockey: Joshua Parr

Breeding: Fastnet Rock / Crimson Reign

Owners: Torryburn Stud, Segenhoe Thoroughbreds Australia, Stallion Racing, McEnnis Racing Pty Ltd.

Career: 16: 8 – 5 – 1 Group 1: 0: 0 – 0 – 0 Good track: 13: 6 – 4 – 1

Randwick: 4: 3 – 1 – 0 1200m: 7: 4 – 1 – 0 Randwick 1200m: 2: 2 – 0 – 0

Prizemoney: $597,985

Form: 1111×21411

Last run: 9-Sep-17, Randwick: 1st of 11, Group 2 Theo Marks (1300m)

Biggest wins:

2017 Group 2 Theo Marks (Rosehill, 1300m)

2017 Group 2 Moreton Cup (Doomben, 1200m)

Cameron O’Brien:

Has a best of 115, achieved last start when he won leading throughout at Rosehill. That was a good figure, but it will be his top and he likely gets a harder run with more pressure on today.

Best odds: $12: Centrebet, William Hill

7: FELL SWOOP

Slot holder: William Inglis & Son

6YO bay gelding

Barrier: 8 Weight: 58.5kg

Trainer: Matthew Dale Jockey: Tye Angland

Breeding: Not A Single Doubt / Touched In Flight

Owners: Mrs AE Dale, Ms ME Porter, Mr MW Curtis, Mr PA Armstrong, Mr ME Richards, Mr GA Singh, Mr MJ Condon, Mr SL Dowling, In Flight Group, Single Flight, Mr I De Landelles, Miss SM Barnes, Mrs J Curtis, Mrs J Condon, Ms A Coxon, Mrs KJ Armstrong, Mr MJ Stapleton, Mrs RM Barnes.

Career: 25: 9 – 4 – 3 Group 1: 11: 0 – 3 – 2 Good track: 16: 7 – 1 – 2

Randwick: 6: 1 – 1 – 1 1200m: 11: 4 – 2 – 2 Randwick 1200m: 3: 0 – 1 – 1

Prizemoney: $1,621,670

Form: 23x6639x68

Last run: 30-Sep-17, Randwick: 8th of 11, 3.3L, Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m)

Last win: 30-Apr-16, Doomben: Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m)

Biggest wins:

2016 Group 2 Victory Stakes (Doomben, 1200m)

Cameron O’Brien:

At his best Fell Swoop would be right in this race but his last two preps have been well below his best. Could only get to 113 last prep and 111 so far this prep, needs to find.

Best odds: $71: Ladbrokes

8: BRAVE SMASH

Slot holder: Australian Turf Club

5YO bay horse

Barrier: 9 Weight: 58.5kg

Trainer: Darren Weir Jockey: Jamie Spencer

Breeding: Tosen Phantom / Tosen Smash

Owners: Australian Bloodstock, Mt Hallowell Stud, Power Thoroughbreds, Mr G Kairouz, Carty Racing, Walker Racing & Bloodstock, Mr AA Brogan, Mr DG Butcher, Platinum Breeding & Racing, Dr PC Goel, Mr DJ Canny, Mr TN Porter, Mr TA Ginnane, Mr M Johnston, Mr DJ O’Connor, Mr BL Shannon, Mrs KM Davis, Mrs K Cicciarelli, Brave Smash, Mr AC Bates.

Career: 16: 3 – 6 – 1 Group 1: 2: 0 – 0 – 0 Good track: 2: 1 – 1 – 0

Randwick: 0: 0 – 0 – 0 1200m: 4: 1 – 2 – 0 Randwick 1200m: 0: 0 – 0 – 0

Prizemoney: $923,373

Form: 80x344x212

Last run: 23-Sep-17, Caulfield: 2nd of 10, 0.2L, Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m)

Last win: 9-Sep-17, Moonee Valley: Listed Chandler MacLeod Stakes (1200m)

Biggest wins:

2015 Listed Saudi Arabia Royal Cup (Tokyo, 1600m)

2017 Listed Chandler MacLeod Stakes (Moonee Valley, 1200m)

Cameron O’Brien:

Ex Japanese galloper who made a solid impression first start in Aus rating 111 coming from back, but has not been able to improve on that since. Was purchased with this race in mind, would need to find a new peak, is relatively lightly raced so it is possible and the pace on will help, however will need to go at least 116 to win.

Best odds: $41: Centrebet, William Hill

9: ENGLISH

Slot holder: Tabcorp

5YO bay mare

Barrier: 12 Weight: 56.5kg

Trainer: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott Jockey: Blake Shinn

Breeding: Encosta De Lago / Court

Owners: Newhaven Park.

Career: 19: 5 – 3 – 1 Group 1: 11: 1 – 2 – 1 Good track: 11: 3 – 2 – 0

Randwick: 12: 4 – 2 – 1 1200m: 9: 1 – 3 – 1 Randwick 1200m: 5: 1 – 2 – 1

Prizemoney: $2,659,700

Form:

Last run: 30-Sep-17, Randwick: 2nd of 11, 0.2L, Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m)

Last win: 4-Mar-17, Randwick: Group 2 Challenge Stakes (1000m)

Biggest wins:

2016 Group 1 All Aged Stakes (Randwick, 1400m)

Cameron O’Brien:

Ready to peak now after two solid runs back, English has a best of 116 and with the weight relief for the mare that puts her right in this. Will stand them a start but pace on will help, if she goes to her best she wins or runs top 3 at worst.

Best odds: $12: Centrebet, William Hill

10: SHE WILL REIGN

Slot holder: Yu Long Investments

3YO bay – brown filly

Barrier: 2 Weight: 51kg

Trainer: Gary Portelli Jockey: Corey Brown

Breeding:

Owners: Mr MD Holland, Mrs KA Allison, Mr G Bachell, Mr RA Barrett, Mr MJ Cameron, Mr BP Craig, Mr M Evans, Mr B Furness, Mr JA Haworth, Mr T Hill, Mr JA Green, Mr R Kewley, Mr A Pieper, Mr JW Stone, Mr MR Tobin, Mr RS Wallace, Mr CJ Webb, Mr AR Whatson, Mr MC Field, Twoipee Racing.

Career: 6: 5 – 1 – 0 Group 1: 2: 2 – 0 – 0 Good track: 2: 2 – 0 – 0

Randwick: 2: 1 – 1 – 0 1200m: 2: 1 – 1 – 0 Randwick 1200m: 1: 0 – 1 – 0

Prizemoney: $2,859,150

Form: 11x121x1

Last run: 29-Sep-17, Moonee Valley: 1st of 13, Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m)

Biggest wins:

2017 Group 1 Moir Stakes (Moonee Valley, 1000m)

2017 Group 1 Golden Slipper (Rosehill, 1200m)

Cameron O’Brien:

Dominant filly of the 2016/17 season who peaked with a 113 in the Slipper. Amazing win first up when everything went wrong, she only rated 106 but that was far better than the rating suggests. With only 51 kgs her 113 has her very hard to beat.

Best odds: $5.5: Palmerbet

11: HOUTZEN

Slot holder: Aquis Farm

3YO bay filly

Barrier: 1 Weight: 51kg

Trainer: Toby Edmonds Jockey: Jeff Lloyd

Breeding: I Am Invincible / Set To Unleash

Owners: Miss J Edmonds, Just Fun Racing, G1G Racing & Breeding, Aquis Farm, Mr RJ Casey, Ms DJ Rochfort, Mr CM Casey, Mr GM Lawrence, Mr PJ Mullen, Ms X Huang, Mr NA Warren, Mr SI Hargreaves, Mr PJ Lederhose, Mr PJ Peters, Mr SJ Shirley, Mr AK Warren, Raffles Thoroughbred Racing.

Career: 7: 5 – 0 – 1 Group 1: 1: 0 – 0 – 0 Good track: 4: 3 – 0 – 1

Randwick: 0: 0 – 0 – 0 1200m: 3: 2 – 0 – 0 Randwick 1200m: 0: 0 – 0 – 0

Prizemoney: $1,559,600

Form: 11115×31

Last run: 29-Sep-17, Moonee Valley: 1st of 11, Group 3 Scarborough Stakes (1200m)

Biggest wins:

2017 Group 3 Champagne Stakes (Moonee Valley, 1200m)

2017 Magic Millions 2YO Classic (Gold Coast, 1200m)

Cameron O’Brien:

Solid filly back well with a tough win at Moonee Valley last start, rating 108. She has a best of 110 but likely more this prep. Same as SWR she gets 51 kgs at the WFA, however she could be caught in a bit of a speed battle up front. She doesn’t have the raw ability of SWR, however she has barrier 1, no weight and plenty of ability, probably over the odds at 25/1.

Best odds: $31: Centrebet, William Hill

12: TULIP

Slot holder: Coolmore Stud

3YO bay filly

Barrier: 11 Weight: 51kg

Trainer: David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig Jockey: Tim Clark

Breeding: Pierro / Musidora

Owners: Coolmore, Cobra, Mr MJ Kirwan, Mr JW Hillier, Mr GP Heffernan.

Career: 8: 2 – 2 – 1 Group 1: 3: 0 – 0 – 1 Good track: 5: 1 – 2 – 0

Randwick: 2: 0 – 0 – 0 1200m: 4: 1 – 1 – 1 Randwick 1200m: 0: 0 – 0 – 0

Prizemoney: $593,875

Form: 124135×24

Last run: 16-Sep-17, Randwick: 4th of 10, 2.8L, Group 2 Tea Rose Stakes (1400m)

Last win: 11-Mar-17, Rosehill: Group 3 Magic Night Stakes (1200m)

Biggest wins:

2017 Group 3 Magic Night Stakes (Rosehill, 1200m)

Cameron O’Brien:

Third 3yo filly in the race, she has only held 104’s so far this prep and needs quite a bit more than that to be competitive. Best last prep 106 and she does have a base for a new prep but it looks like she needs too much at this stage.

Best odds: $71: Centrebet, William Hill