Grey flash a hope to summit Everest
IT’S on like Donkey Kong. And it might just be history for the old grey warriors.
Racing NSW has given the best indication yet eight-yearold six-time Group 1 winner Chautauqua can start in the $13 million The TAB Everest at Royal Randwick on October 13 if he jumps away in an official trial between races at Moonee Valley tonight.
Already co-owner of the final Everest “slot” Max Whitby – who lost his first entry Menari to injury – has virtually confirmed Chautauqua is top of the pops for that final spot, and of course, pro-active managing owner Rupert Legh has never lost sight of an Everest start, even when the threetime T.J. Smith winner was point blank refusing to leave the barrier.
RNSW Chairman of Stewards Marc Van Gestel told me yesterday the quick-fire avenue to world’s richest race was alive and kicking.
“If the trial meets NSW conditions, it may result in the horse being passed NSW,” he said. “Of course, until we see the trial it’s difficult to comment any further.”
It seems RNSW has softened its stance towards the public equine favourite since his successful jump-out at Flemington last Friday morning.
And the entire Chautauqua team – full of remarkable confidence and resilience from barrier to box – has never been more excited about what may lay ahead.
All being well tonight (Fri) at the Valley, Chautauqua will be fast-tracked (via the satisfaction of RNSW stewards) into the Everest 12 months after his luckless and fast-finishing fourth in the inaugural edition and nearly a year since his last run – fourth again in the Group 1 Darley Classic at Flemington behind Redzel.
He would then be set for the Group 1 Manikato under lights at Moonee Valley on October 26, and then potentially into the Darley Classic again over Cup carnival week in early November.
Whitby bristles about Chautauqua coming from nowhere to grab that final “slot,” but it’s likely high class threeyear-old Graff – third in last Saturday’s Group 1 Golden Rose – would be his back-up Everest runner.
T BACK on the track tomorrow in one of great days – triple Group 1 Epsom/ Metrop/Flight Stakes Day at Randwick – another old grey might just shock the racing world.
Just five months after his Australian debut, six-year-old gelding Opposition is screaming out for the 2400m Metrop trip. Still lightly raced, with only three wins from his early days across the UK, I loved his last furlong in a BM 88 at Rosehill Gardens last week and the quick back-up for a huge strider who wants further is ideal.
He’s drawn the carpark and around 50/1, but watch out late if he gets some luck.
So too another ex-English galloper and now Waller stablemate eight-year-old High Bridge who has quickly left behind a promising hurdle career in the UK to launch a flat down under. He’s powered through two midweek wins carrying big weights in such style, the son of German staying sire Monsun could shock the race from a good draw with no weight around 20/1.
Here are my Early Mail Value Selects at RANDWICK:
Race 1 2. BRIGHT RUBICK (E/W)** Expect: $5.75 – $6.50 My Early Rating: $3.90
Race 2 6. EXCEED THE STARS** Expect: $3.00 – $3.25 My Early Rating: $2.50
Race 2 9. KING’S CHAMP (E/W)* Expect: $13.00 – $15.00 My Early Rating: $7.05
Race 2 3. COVERT OPS (E/W)* Expect: $17.00 – $19.00 My Early Rating: $8.50
Race 5 5. IN HER TIME (E/W)** Expect: $6.50 – $7.00 My Early Rating: $4.10
Race 7 7. UNFORGOTTEN** Expect: $4.35 – $4.65 My Early Rating: $2.95
Race 8 16. HIGH BRIDGE (E/W)*** Expect: $15.00 – $17.00 My Early Rating: $6.00
Race 8 17. OPPOSITION (E/W)* Expect: $41.00 – $51.00 My Early Rating: $17.00
GOOD LUCK @NeilEvansmail
In Her Time is Neil’s top selection in tomorrow’s Premiere Stakes. Pic Grant Guy.