Timeform Preview – The Everest

The second running of The Everest has been the talk of the town this week and deservedly so with twelve of the best sprinters in the land engaged to do battle over the Randwick 1200m course.

Timeform Preview – The Everest

The second running of The Everest has been the talk of the town this week and deservedly so with twelve of the best sprinters in the land engaged to do battle over the Randwick 1200m course.

Trapeze Artist ready to bonce back
Trapeze Artist ready to bonce back Picture:Racing and Sports

The quality of the runners in the race can be best gauged by the fact that 10 of the 12 runners are group one winners with the more than half of the field Timeform rated 124 or higher.

Clearly the track condition this afternoon will play a vital role and with consistent rain predicted all the way up until race time on Saturday, the track is certain to be rain affected, possibly bordering on heavy but almost certainly in the soft range.

Another added factor into the mix is the rail position for Saturday which will be true after being out six metres last week. The last time the rail was true at Randwick was on the 15th September.

With so many variables at play and with luck on a rain affected track likely to play a bigger role than usual, it is little wonder that it is $7 the field in early betting on the race.

Timeform adjusted weight ratings, not surprisingly suggest a compressed finish with Trapeze Artist Horseform holding the narrowest of margins over last year’s runner up Vega Magic Horseform with the ever-reliable Santa Ana Lane next best.

All the form signs are positive for Trapeze Artist who is expected to peak this afternoon third up from a spell after two very solid efforts so far this campaign.

First up on a heavy track he was third behind Home Of The Brave in the Theo Marks Quality under 61kgs, then did well enough behind Santa Ana Lane in the Premier Stakes over 1200m at Randwick last time out to indicate he was on track for his target race this afternoon.

Last time out Trapeze Artist appeared to race “flat” and lacking that turn of foot he demonstrated in winning the TJ Smith and All Aged Stakes when last in training.

However, that is not surprising as his second up form is way below his best. Putting that effort in perspective, Trapeze Artist ran to a Timeform rating of 117, almost the same as the 118 he ran to when second up in the Hobartville Stakes last preparation, before bouncing off that to finish a gallant third to Kementari and Pierata in the Randwick Guineas over the unsuitable 1600m trip.

A really heavy track would cause issues for Trapeze Artist, however given reasonable ground, the son on Snitzel is certain to play a big role in the outcome.

There is little doubt Vega Magic should have just about won The Everest last year – a poor barrier and wide run ultimately contributing to his defeat by less than a length.

A former West Australian galloper, Vega Magic is another who would not be as well suited by a heavy track, especially considering his only attempt at Group one company on wet ground was in the Goodwood earlier this year where he finished eighth.

However, on the plus side, that was his only failure in wet ground, having won his other two appearances on ground rated soft 6.

Vega Magic does bring some decent form lines to the race winning the Bletchingly Stakes over 1100m at Caulfield in a canter running to a Timeform rating of 124 when resuming and with blinkers, then last start as favourite, he disappointed in the G1 Memsie Stakes over 1400m when beaten less than half a length into fourth place behind Humidor at WFA.

On that occasion, Team Hayes had removed the blinkers in an effort to get him to settle but things turned out less than perfect for him in the race so it can be overlooked as a guide for today.

That was 42 days ago and since then Vega Magic has been kept up to the mark with trials – his record in that state presents no concerns.

Blinkers go back on here and that combined with a drop back to 1200m and champion rider Damien Oliver staying in the saddle, ensures Vega Magic will certainly prove hard to beat especially if he regains his peak Timeform rating of 126 under today’s conditions.

Multiple group winner Santa Ana Lane Horseform has been the “Mr Reliable” of the sprinting ranks in the last twelve months winning The Goodwood, Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and Stradbroke Handicap and currently sits with a Timeform rating of 124, just two pounds shy of both Trapeze Artist and Vega Magic at their peak.

Santa Ana Lane resumed off two trials with an unplaced effort behind Ball Of Muscle at Caulfield but quickly regained winning form last start in the Premiere Stakes over the Randwick 1200m courtesy of a rails hugging ride from Ben Melham, running 123 - very close to his previous peak Timeform rating.

Being third up this afternoon, further improvement can be anticipated which puts him in the winner’s frame and a heavy track poses no problem as he won the Stradbroke in similar conditions.

Aidan O’Brien, arguably the best trainer in the world today, will have his first runner in Sydney with U S Navy Flag who brings a totally different form line to the table and a proper piece of form at that.

Still a three-year-old by Northern Hemisphere time, U S Navy Flag Horseform is already a three-time group one winner, twice at two (Middle Park Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes) and the July Cup last start where he defeated the older horses after stepping back from an unplaced run in the St James’s Palace Stakes over 1600m at Royal Ascot.

U S Navy Flag was also placed in the G1 Irish Guineas over a mile at the Curragh.

O’Brien is a master at travelling horses and competing at the highest level on any global stage and it would be unwise to disrespect this galloper.

U S Navy Flag’s running style has been from the front and he should relish the flat racing topography of Randwick compared to the brutal uphill climbs at the Curragh, Newmarket and Ascot.

U S Navy Flag comes here as an accomplished sprinter with plenty of toughness and retains Ryan Moore in the saddle. It would not surprise to see him take plenty of catching. With minimal improvement on his 124 Timeform rating, that makes him a definite threat to the locals.

Away from that foursome there are several other chances all close up on weight adjusted Timeform ratings including last year’s winner Redzel Horseform.

However, given the wet track scenario, conditions may well play to the strengths of the multiple group one winning mare Shoals Horseform, who could easily be the disrupter in the race as she appears to be peaking at the right time and is unbeaten on rain affected ground from three runs, two coming at Randwick.

A seven-time winner from 1100m to 1600m, four coming at 1200m, Shoals reached a new Timeform peak last start when an eye-catching third to Santa Ana Lane in the Premiere Stakes where she met and beat some of her more fancied rivals facing her today.

That was just her second run back from a spell – however the effort may well have signalled further improvement to come. It is significant that last preparation she improved four pounds in rating from her second to third run back from a spell.

A repeat of that scenario combined with her superior wet track ability sees her as the knockout horse in an extremely hard race for punters to assess.

Enjoy the second renewal of The Everest, but be wary as a heavy track certainly changes the complexion of the race.

Timeform Ratings – Final Weight Adjusted Ratings

Trapeze Artist 126

Vega Magic 126

Santa Ana Lane 124

U S Navy Flag 124

Redzel 124

Brave Smash 124

Viddora 124

In Her Time 123

Shoals 121

Graff 119p

Le Romain 119

Osborne Bulls 116

Caulfield Guineas

It’s been fifteen years since In Top Swing won both the Golden Rose and Caulfield Guineas, and seven Golden Rose winners have tried and failed since, but The Autumn Sun should break that trend this year.

The Autumn Sun takes a ratings edge to Caulfield and he looks to have plenty more in the locker yet with the return to a mile this weekend fancied to draw even more out of the star son of Redoute’s Choice.

The Autumn Sun goes into the Caulfield Guineas rated 120p. Native Soldier and Oohood head the dangers on ratings but the former has to bring his form up to the mile, which looks questionable, and the latter is lacks the upside and star power of the market elect.

While Golden Rose winners have struggled to convert at Caulfield they haven’t run poorly with four of those seven in the placings and the Rose has provided six winners from the beaten brigade in that time.

One of those, Press Statement, ran to a rating of 120 when winning the Caulfield Guineas. The similarly profiling The Autumn Sun is already rated that highly and looks a better prospect for the future.

Perhaps the most interesting danger is the Kris Lees-trained Gem Song – currently rated 112p.

He ran a good race in the Dulcify last time and is quickly improving for a stable having a great run of late.

It would be no shock to see him run a new peak on the back of his latest outing and that makes him good enough to run a placing in the modern Caulfield Guineas.

Caulfield Stakes

The 2018 Caulfield Stakes is a Winx-free zone but the star mare’s absence makes for a cracking contest between the best of the rest with a good overseas contingent adding some real depth and interesting.

The best of the locals might be the Chris Waller-trained Unforgotten. The Oaks winner of last season stamped herself as a star of the future when winning that Randwick classic and her form this time in has done nothing to sway that line of thought.

She ran a strong closing third in the Epsom last time, giving the impression that a return to her peak was on the cards when upped in trip next time out. She gets that now and even luck in running makes her mighty hard to stop.

Benbatl heads the overseas challenge. He ran the second fastest 1800m around the Meydan ever when blitzing the Dubai Turf field back in March and has won at the top level since.

He’s a high class performer and he has the racing pattern to use his inside draw.

Humidor gets away from the inside draw and that suits his racing style. He had to wait on a run last time and it cost him getting right into the finish. His closing splits were good and we know that he is capable of beating all bar Winx in Australia when he is on his game.

Stablemate Tosen Basil is another key hope through the Underwood. He was big odds there, and wasn’t able to reel in Homesman, but he showed his Japanese form is well within reach now and he may still prove a genuine Caulfield Cup chance on the back of a big run here.

D’Argento gets back to 2000m and must be a chance as well having won the Rosehill Guineas at his lone try at the trip.

Racing And Sports

R7 RANDWICK 13 October 2018
The Tab Everest , 1200m
Race Synopsis: Winner of the inaugural The Everest, Redzel made it back-toback victories, staging another smart sprinting performance in winning here. He was smartly away from his inside barrier (1), travelled well in front, got a break on turning for home and fought back well to score a good win. Trapeze Artist had a good trip in third place on the rails, briefly looked a threat when he moved up at the 200m and then kept battling on well for a good second. Osborne Bulls settled in last place in the 12-horse field, went extremely wide (looking for better ground) on turning for home and made ground (closer to the outside rail) to take third. Le Romain raced outside the leader and eventual winner (Redzel) to the home turn and battled on in the heavy conditions for fourth, just in advance of the three-year-old Graff who ran on well from eighth place at the home turn for (4.2 lengths) fifth.

Age & Sex
6yo Gelding
Triple Crown Synd (Mgr: C H Ward), Walfam No 2 (Mgr: B Walsh), Ten Players (Mgr: S J Fletcher), J N Allen, P Piras, V P Chau, T W Cheng, M R Waddington, Mrs A Gibson, Dr A Kuok, J W Medland, T Kocovski, Mrs P Di Marco, L Halloran, M E Hardwick, B D Playford, D Yates & A Savage
Jan 14, 2014 Gold Coast Yearling Sale, $120000, TRIPLE CROWN SYNDICATIONS, NSW
4yo H
Vieira Racing (Mgr: B Vieira), B Vieira, Mrs S G Vieira, T Vieira, Mrs C Vieira-Choy & J A Choy
5yo Gelding
4th  3. LE ROMAIN (AUS)
6yo Gelding
5th  12. GRAFF (AUS)
3yo Colt
6yo Gelding
7th  9. IN HER TIME (AUS)
6yo Mare
6yo H
9th  8. U S NAVY FLAG (USA)
4yo H
10th  11. VIDDORA (AUS)
6yo Mare
11th  10. SHOALS (AUS)
4yo Mare
12th  5. VEGA MAGIC (AUS)
6yo Gelding

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