Grey flash a hope to sum­mit Ever­est

The Sportsman Weekend - - News -

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.

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