After what feels like an eternity of build-up and drama, The Everest is finally here and we are set for an excellent race at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
You won’t find many more open betting races than this one and, at the time of writing, there are three equal favourites in the form of Redzel, Trapeze Artist and Vega Magic.
All 12 horses set to contest The Everest go into the race as genuine winning chances and we have analysed every single one of them to come up with our 2018 The Everest tips.
Redzel is back to defend his title in The Everest after his impressive win last year. I’m not convinced that Redzel is going as well as he was 12 months ago and I am happy to take him on at his current price. His first-up effort in the Concord Stakes was excellent, but he didn’t really beat much and he had no excuses when he was beaten in the Premiere Stakes. You definitely can’t rule him out, but I have him marked at longer than his current odds.
Santa Ana Lane
Santa Ana Lane has been a revelation over the past 12 months and his wins in The Goodwood, Stradbroke Handicap and Premiere Stakes have been nothing short of outstanding. The run did open up for him at the right time in the Premiere Stakes and he will likely be giving some of his rivals a decent start from barrier nine. In saying that, he is still a genuine winning chance and he can’t be discounted.
Le Romain is the value runner in The Everest and the $21 currently on offer is well and truly over the odds. He has been freshened-up since he gave Winx a race in the George Main Stakes and his fresh form is excellent – he won the Shoe County Quality over 1200 metres earlier this campaign. What really brings him into this contest is the wet track and the best win of his career came on a very heavy track in the Canterbury Stakes. Le Romain is an ultra-consistent horse that very rarely runs a bad race and he is an excellent each-way bet.
The Everest is the only reason that Trapeze Artist wasn’t sent to stud at the end of his three-year-old campaign and there is no doubt that he has been set for this race. His third-up record is excellent and he is capable of a big spike rating on his day, but his two runs this preparation in the Theo Marks Stakes and the Premiere Stakes have only been fair. $7 looks around the right price and it wouldn’t surprise if he won this race or finished last.
The blinkers go back on Vega Magic and that could be the difference in the Memsie Stakes. He was nothing short of dominant first-up in the Bletchingly Stakes and he really wasn’t disgraced when fourth in the Memsie Stakes. I like the fact that the Lindsay Park team have freshened him up for this contest and he has followed a similar preparation to last year when he really should have won the race. Damien Oliver is one of the best big-race jockeys in the country and barrier seven does give him plenty of options. Vega Magic is the horse to beat.
Brave Smash has been ticking along nicely this campaign and he hit the line strongly when second behind Viddora in the Moir Stakes. The step-up to 1200 metres is ideal for him and he does map to get the run of the race with Hugh Bowman in the saddle. The only real concern is whether Brave Smash has as much upside as some of the other horses in this field and the $13 does seem the right mark.
Home Of The Brave
Home Of The Brave has been scratched from The Everest due to an elevated temperature.
U S Navy Flag
U S Navy Flag is the international runner in The Everest and you can never discount the partnership of Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien. The big issue for U S Navy Flag is the wet track and O’Brien has made it clear that the horse produces his best on firm going. Consistency has never been his strong point and I would be surprised if he was able to perform at his best on this track.
In Her Time
In Her Time has flown under the radar somewhat ahead of The Everest, but her third place finish in the Premiere Stakes was outstanding. She should take a fair amount of benefit from that performance and, if she does improve, she will be right in the finish. Corey Brown will have plenty of options from barrier eight and she is another that will have every possible chance.
She may not have won, but Shoals produced the best performance of her career to finish second in the Premiere Stakes and she is a horse that has no problem getting through the wet. Shoals doesn’t have as much upside as some of the other horses in this field and I can’t get her as short as the current price of $7.50, but she could be the horse to benefit if the big guns don’t bring their best form.
Viddora earnt her place in The Everest with her win in the Moir Stakes and that performance could hardly have been more impressive. She has won at Group 1 level over 1200 metres, but I’ve always been of the belief that 1000 metres is her best trip and she is just short of the elite sprinters in the country at 1200 metres.
Graff is the sole three-year-old in The Everest field and we will get good insight into how the three-year-old form will stack up against the older horses. The Star Witness colt has not produced a poor effort this campaign and he was not disgraced behind The Autumn Sun and Zousain in the Golden Rose Stakes. In saying that, he would still need to find several lengths of improvement to be a genuine chance in The Everest and he is a horse that I am happy to oppose.
Osborne Bulls earnt a place in The Everest following the scratching of Home Of The Brave. I have a big opinion of Osborne Bulls and he still has upside, but he has never really shown anything to suggest that he is capable of winning a race of this quality. I think he will win a big race at some point, but not this one.