The Japanese import was snapped up by slot-holder Chris Waller Racing in an interesting move that sees the horse stay with Darren Weir. The entire charged home to grab 3rd in the inaugural edition of The Everest at his 4th Australian start. In the Autumn he secured his maiden Group 1 win in taking out the Futurity Stakes at Caulfield.
Back for a 2nd attempt to scale Everest, the 6YO mare added another Group 1 victory to her tally during the Brisbane Winter Carnival when scoring a narrow victory in the Doomben 10,000 at 1200m.
Keen on securing a position in the 2017 Everest, Ben Smith could not convince a slot holder to take his mare. In the 'Consolation' Sydney Stakes, the Time Thief mare gave Smith some justification with a stylish win when finishing over the top to defeat Impending. During the Sydney Autumn, the mare secured The Galaxy defeating fellow Everest aspirant English when carrying a half-kilo more weight.
The second mare from the Waterhouse/Bott yard to secure a slot, Invincible Star eased as far as $101 after opening at $31 to take racing's richest turf prize. After a close 2nd to Merchant Navy in the Coolmore at Flemington, the daughter of I Am Invincible was not seen through the Autumn or Winter, while Merchant Navy went on to G1 success at Royal Ascot. Resuming on the trail towards the summit following two impressive barrier trials, the mare set the speed in the G3 Concorde at Randwick when collared in the closing stages by the super-sprinter Redzel. A speedster that likes to race in a forward position, she will ensure there is a genuine tempo.
The gelded son of Snitzel stepped forward in season 2017/18 to stamp his name as the premier sprinter in the country. His season was headlined by a stirring victory in the inaugural The Everest and inlcuded 'support' victories in the G3 Concorde, G2 The Shorts, G1 Darley Classic and G2 Challenge Stakes. Added to that were second-placed runs in the G1 TJ Smith and G1 Lightning. With his ascent to the summit of the 2017 Everest beginning with victory in the Concorde Stakes, the 6YO returned in brilliant fashion in 2018 with victory in the same race as he looks to defend the title.
A G1 winner in the Spring at 1400m in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes, the gelding stepped up in the Winter winning successive G1 races. Securing The Goodwood at WFA when storming home from back in the pack, the gelding then repeated the performance to secure the Stradbroke Handicap under 55.5kg. The last time he started in Sydney was in the Hall Mark Stakes when 7.5 lengths from the winner, Redzel.
Anthony Freedman had a superb season that reaped 6 G1 wins, with those 6 wins split between two horses. Those two horses are now both confirmed Everest invitees, with Shoals joining stable-mate Santa Ana Lane. Apart from one 'off-day' in the G3 Kevin Hayes Stakes at Caulfield, Shoals has been in the top-two at each of her other 9 career starts, winning 7 of them. The daughter of Fastnet Rock had her season shut-down after a G1 victory in the UBET Classic at Morphettville over 1200m whe swooping home to a stylish victory.
Gerald Ryan had Deploy in the 2017 Everest under the Chris Waller Racing slot and looks set to have dual representation in 2018 with Menari and arguably the premiere 3YO sprinting colt in Australia in the past season- Trapeze Artist. After securing a G1 upset in the Golden Rose in the Spring, the colt returned in the Autumn to secure victories in the G2 Expressway Stakes and ended his season with a TJ Smith triumph over Redzel and an All Aged Stakes victory over Le Romain.
Aidan O'Brien produced a training masterstroke to prepare U S Navy Flag to win the G1 July Cup at Newmarket at 1200m. The colt started his prep over 1400m in the Irish 2000 Guineas at Leopardstown and was put over the mile at each of his next 3 starts, including the bravest of 2nd's in the G1 Irish 2000 Guineas before dropping back to the six furlongs when securing the July Cup. The War Front entire will become the first internationally prepared horse to target The Everest.
Vega Magic will be back hoping to go one better than his 2017 result when finishing 2nd to Redzel, beaten just under one length. That race was the first time that the gelding had raced the Sydney way of going and was a solid effort. Since The Everest last year, Vega Magic has raced 5 times, with his only win coming when returning for his current prep over 1200m at Flemington in the G3 Bletchingly. His latest effort in the Memsie at Caulfield was brave when ridden on the pace, with the off pace runners finishing best. A winner of the Memsie in 2017 with his next start then in The Everest, will he follow a similar trail in 2018?
February 1 2017, the date that the racing landscape changed not only in NSW, but across the world when Racing NSW announced a new race to their Spring calendar.
The Everest was announced as the newest race in Australia and with it would come a record level of prizemoney with $10 million prizemoney on offer. After unprecedented success of the inaugural renewal, the 2018 edition has been further boosted and offers a total of $10 million in prizemoney, the richest thoroughbred race held on turf.
Not only will it be the richest race held on turf, it is the richest race in Australia, surpassing the Melbourne Cup, it will also become the richest race in the world over 1200m (six furlongs) with the winner set to pocket a figure greater than the total prizemoney of the Melbourne Cup.
Entry to the race is restricted to the 12 ‘invited’ runners, with spots being allocated by the 'slot holders' that include organisations such as TAB and the ATC and individuals, such as Mx Whitby. These invitations come at a cost of $600,000 with connections purchasing the slot for a three year period. Connections are then able to sell this slot should they not have the runner to contest the race.
Conditions of the race are standard weight for age and as the race is an invitational, it will carry restricted status and not any Group classification. The Everest is held at Randwick Racecourse with the second edition to take place on Saturday 13 October 2018 as part of the Sydney Spring Carnival