Rain damp­ens hopes of pun­ters look­ing for Ever­est win­ner

Geelong Advertiser - - SPORT - CARYL WIL­LIAMSON

SYD­NEY’S weather has emerged as the big­gest player in the $13 mil­lion Ever­est at Rand­wick.

In a tight mar­ket with the favourite chang­ing sev­eral times in the lead-up to to­day, last year’s win­ner Redzel and star mare Shoals are equal $7 favourites on race eve with pun­ters re­ly­ing on their wet track records. An un­ex­pected down­pour yes­ter­day kept the track in the heavy range and more rain is pre­dicted.

Last month, Redzel was named Aus­tralia’s cham­pion sprinter for 2017-18 ahead of Trapeze Artist, who was the top three-year-old while Shoals was the cham­pion three-year-old filly.

Trapeze Artist has had a turn as favourite for the 1200m sprint but has eased to $9.

Trainer Ger­ald Ryan would pre­fer an up­graded sur­face but is not dis­count­ing his charge’s chances.

“We can’t do any­thing about it but he’s cer­tainly not hope­less in it,” Ryan said.

“He has had three goes on heavy for a sixth in the Golden Slip­per, third in the Sires’ Pro­duce and third un­der 61kg.

“He’s worked well and his third-up run is usu­ally his best.”

Trapeze Artist is owned by Bert Vieira, who knocked back sev­eral lu­cra­tive stud of­fers to aim him at The Ever­est and a pos­si­ble sec­ond T.J. Smith in the au­tumn. Vieira’s joy at rac­ing an ex­cep­tional horse has been su­per­seded by con­cerns for the health of his wife, Gai, who re­mains in a coma weeks af­ter her car was hit by a po­lice car pur­su­ing an­other ve­hi­cle.

Ryan ob­vi­ously wants to win to give the fam­ily a lift.

Jockey Tye Ang­land also has his rea­sons for want­ing to win af­ter los­ing an ap­peal against a sus­pen­sion for care­less rid­ing.

It means he misses the ride on Ace High in the Caulfield Cup with Damien Oliver his re­place­ment.

New­cas­tle trainer Kris Lees will sad­dle three run­ners — In Her Time, Le Ro­main and Graff — af­ter hav­ing none a few weeks ago.

He in­her­ited In Her Time from sus­pended trainer Ben­jamin Smith, Le Ro­main was a late call-up af­ter GPI Rac­ing lost In­vin­ci­ble Star through in­jury and Graff re­placed the now-re­tired Me­nari for Max Whitby’s slot.

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