Pre­miere to make The Ever­est a bit clearer

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - SHAYNE O’CASS

HALF of the con­firmed The TAB Ever­est run­ners go head-to-head to­mor­row in a $500,000 race that is sure to have huge bear­ing on what hap­pens the $13m grand fi­nal when they re­assem­ble at Royal Randwick in two weeks’ time.

The Group 2 ATC Pre­miere Stakes (1200m) brings to­gether

Ever­est favourite Trapeze Artist and the inau­gu­ral race cham­pion, Redzel, who is se­cond pick in mar­ket for this year’s main event.

The two Snitzel sons have met only once be­fore – in the $2.6 Group 1 ATC T.J Smith Stakes (1200m) with Trapeze Artist putting 2-len on Redzel in a time of 1:08.29s.

While the stakes are con­sid­er­ably lower in Pre­miere com­pared to world’s rich­est turf race, the close prox­im­ity to The Ever­est rules out any thoughts of this be­ing a mere dress re­hearsal for what lay ahead.

“It’s im­por­tant he runs very well,” Ryan told Sports­man.

“You get to this stage and if your horse can’t run well this week­end, it won’t be run­ning well in a fort­night.” Trapeze Artist had the deck

and truly stacked against him when he re­sumed in the Group 2 ATC Theo Marks (1300m) at Rose­hill on Septem­ber 8.

He bat­tled bravely un­der his 61kgs on what was a thor­oughly un­suit­able heavy 8 track.

Even so, Trapeze Artist was still able to post two of the fastest sec­tion­als of the fi­nal 600m of all the run­ners.

“I thought he ran ter­rific firstup,” Ryan said. “I was sur­prised peo­ple were pot­ting his run.”

has al­ways planned to scale The Ever­est third-up with Trapeze Artist bear­ing in mind his third-up form is Black Opal (win), Golden Rose (win) and Randwick Guineas (third).

Those elite per­for­mances stand in stark con­trast to Trapeze Artist’s se­cond-up record of three starts, no plac­ings.

“I don’t know what to read into that,” he said. “When he was se­cond-up at his pre­vi­ous prepa­ra­tions, the aim was get­ting him out over a mile. And whereas from his first-up to his se­cond-up runs at last two prepa­ra­tions – when they were three weeks apart, I tri­alled him in the mid­dle. This time I didn’t. He only had a jump-out over 600m to keep him sharp.”

As for Redzel, a win in to­mor­row’s Pre­miere would see him be­come the na­tion’s high­est earn­ing sprinter in his­tory sur­pass­ing Chau­tauqua.

The Triple Crown/Snow­den Rac­ing geld­ing missed a sched­uled start in The Shorts two weeks ago due to mus­cle sore­ness on the eve of the race. “Redzel worked strongly again

Tues­day morn­ing,” said co­trainer Peter Snow­den. “He worked well last Thurs­day and again yes­ter­day, so he’s in great or­der now.

“He’s there to run well what’s a very, very good race but we know we’ve got a very good horse.

“This run will bring him right on and get him up to where we want for The Ever­est in two weeks, but he’s there run well to­mor­row.”

Trapeze Artist (out­side) and Redzel clash again in the Pre­miere Stakes. Pic: Grant Guy

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