Treks to great race com­plete, now it comes down to sur­vival of

NT News - - SPORT - RAY THOMAS

THE wait is fi­nally over and it will all come down to less than 70 fre­netic sec­onds at Royal Rand­wick to­day.

At 4.15pm, the gates will spring open for the $13 mil­lion TAB Ever­est — and the race will be on.

Months of pres­sure, hype and con­tro­versy has cap­tured the imag­i­na­tion and in­ter­est of horse rac­ing fans around the world. Be­fore an ex­pected crowd of more than 30,000 at Royal Rand­wick, The Ever­est’s field of 12 out­stand­ing sprint­ers will com­pete in the world’s rich­est turf race.

This race is so even that find­ing the favourite is prov­ing as chal­leng­ing as back­ing the win­ner, with The Ever­est bet­ting mar­ket chang­ing con­stantly.

De­fend­ing champ Redzel was the $6.50 favourite for most of yes­ter­day but, by late af­ter­noon, he’d eased to $7 and was joined by Shoals at the top of The Ever­est bet­ting.

Vega Magic has shared race favouritism for the past two weeks but un­cer­tainty about his abil­ity to cope with a heavy track has re­sulted in the geld­ing drift­ing to $8.50.

The same ap­plies to Trapeze Artist and Santa Ana Lane. They started the week shar­ing favouritism but are now out to $9, join­ing Ir­ish raider US Navy Flag.

The big drifter is In Her Time, who has eased to $15. The bril­liant New­cas­tle mare had been chal­leng­ing for Ever­est favouritism since her mighty first-up run in the Pre­miere Stakes when she fin­ished the clos­est of thirds to Santa Ana Lane and Shoals. But she eased dra­mat­i­cally yes­ter­day.

The topsy-turvy bet­ting mar­ket is an­other in­di­ca­tion of how com­pet­i­tive this race is, with the rank out­siders be­ing Le Ro­main, Graff and Os­borne Bulls at about $18.

Vid­dora, the Vic­to­rian mare who has drawn the widest bar­rier in the 12horse field, is one of The Ever­est “out­siders” at $17 but it wouldn’t be a shock if she won the big race.

“Has any­one seen a sprint race this good where it is pos­si­bly go­ing to end

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