Flex­ing mus­cles for Ever­est bid

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - SPORT - RAY THOMAS

EVERGREEN sprinter Ball Of Mus­cle made a late bid for a place in The Ever­est with an all-the-way win in The Shorts at Rand­wick yes­ter­day.

The Joe Pride-trained eight-year-old pushed his case for next month's $13 mil­lion show­case when he low­ered the colours of Ever­est hope­fuls In­vin­ci­ble Star (sec­ond), Brave Smash (third) and English (sixth) to take out the 1100m Group 2 feature.

The trainer admit­ted there hasn’t been any in­ter­est in Ball Of Mus­cle but with his sprinter con­tin­u­ing to win, it might change the think­ing of slot hold­ers Max Whitby and Neil Wer­rett, who are yet to de­ter­mine their sprinter for the world’s rich­est turf race.

“Ball Of Mus­cle might be an eight-year-old but he has been lightly raced, he has never been go­ing bet­ter and it would be great if he could get a start in The Ever­est,’’ Pride said.

“Some of th­ese other horses may or may not have per­formed at Rand­wick but this horse is ex­tremely con­sis­tent. He’s very fast and will give a sight.”

Jockey Glyn Schofield said: “He’s beaten Ever­est horses in his last two starts.”

Ball Of Mus­cle ($5) held off the late surge of In­vin­ci­ble Star ($2.70 favourite) to win by a half head, with Brave Smash ($4.40) less than a length away third.

The Kosciuszko hope­fuls Af­ter All That and The Mon­star ran fourth and fifth re­spec­tively, with English tir­ing late for sixth.

Redzel, the de­fend­ing Ever­est cham­pion, was with­drawn from The Shorts yes­ter­day morn­ing af­ter he was found to have some mus­cle sore­ness.

James McDon­ald, rider of In­vin­ci­ble Star, said the mare was on tar­get for The Ever­est af­ter she bun­gled the start and still ran a close sec­ond.

“I was very happy with that, she was un­lucky not to win,’’ McDon­ald said.

Hugh Bow­man, rider of the Dar­ren Weir-trained Brave Smash, de­scribed his sprinter’s ef­fort as “su­perb’’.

Pic­ture: Getty Images

HAV­ING A BALL: Ball Of Mus­cle holds off In­vin­ci­ble Star to win The Shorts yes­ter­day.

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