All guns blazing as trainer Deploys his best chance
Today’s $10 million Everest race is a boon for the sport of kings
Life is full-on for the Tighe clan.
Considered racing royalty as part-owners of Winx under the Magic Bloodstock banner, Peter Tighe and wife Patty have braced for a hectic 24 hours even though the great mare will be home in her box today.
Son James Tighe celebrated his 21st birthday in Brisbane last night and this morning they will scramble to the airport to fly to Sydney for The Everest, Australia’s richest horse race at Randwick.
The Tighes don’t have a horse in today’s $10 million super race but have jumped on the Deploy bandwagon with Winx’s trainer Chris Waller.
To help cover the huge prizemoney, Racing NSW charged $600,000 for each of the 12 slots in the race. Chris Waller Racing paid up, but without a horse in its stable to put up for The Everest, Waller chose Deploy for its slot — and with good reasons.
Deploy, which is trained under Waller’s nose each morning by Gerald Ryan at Rosehill, has set course-record race times at his past two outings and is the model of consistency.
“When Chris first spoke to me about it, Deploy had just won the Show County at Randwick and I said, ‘Do you think he’s good enough?’ ” Ryan said this week.
“Chris said, ‘He’s a winner, Gerald, he’s a winner.’ At that stage he’d won six out of his last eight.
“After he won at Rosehill, on the Monday morning I put Chris on to (managing owner) John Cornish and said I’ll just train the horse.”
Cornish, Waller and the other owners agreed to undisclosed terms and Deploy has freshened up since.
“Life’s very, very hectic at the moment,” Peter Tighe said, having just caught his breath after Winx’s memorable 21st win at Flemington last Saturday, followed the night after by receiving the major honour at the Champion Racehorse Awards in Brisbane.
After drawing a middle barrier (seven) in a race with hot speed inside and out, Deploy has eased in betting markets from $11 to $15.
“He is sort of the unknown quantity, to be honest,” Tighe said.
“He could come out and win easily or come out and find he is just not up to the mark.
“We’re not 100 per cent sure but he’ll be there with all guns blazing and he’ll give it his best shot.
“He’s trained to the minute and he certainly knows how to run fast on that track because he is the current track record holder.”
When Sir Edmund Hillary conquered the summit of Mount Everest in 1953, he laconically remarked to his expedition colleague George Lowe: “Well, George, we knocked the bastard off.” In the same understated way, the organisers of today’s $10 million The Everest horse race in Sydney — the richest turf race in the world — have overcome considerable odds to pull off one of the great coups in world racing.
Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys, chairman Russell Balding and former chairman John Messara are to be congratulated for giving Australian racing a much-needed fillip by aiming high with this unique concept.
As the name suggests, V’landys and co have had a mountain to climb as parochialism and rivalries threatened to hobble the event before it even got off the ground. Victorian racing officials are said to have been concerned about the impact of such an event clashing with the official start of their Spring Carnival with today’s Group 1 Caulfield Guineas. However, they should look at the bigger picture with a race that once more spotlights the sport of kings. The Everest may not yet be the race that stops a nation, as the first Tuesday in November does. But arguably it has attracted the strongest field of sprinters assembled in Sydney.
Yet, strangely, it does not have Group 1 status as it does not comply with racing rules that stipulate a race has to have been held for at least three years to attain Group 1 eligibility. Such a rule seems arcane.
However, punters have already voted with their wallets: betting pools for The Everest are greater than all the money being held so far for today’s Guineas, next week’s Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup.
Strapper Rachel Wilkinson gives Deploy some special attention at Rosehill stables yesterday before he lines up for The Everest today