Top fancies for The Everest had to play second fiddle to the in-form Ball Of Muscle who led all of the way to win the 2018 Group 2 $200,000 Bowermans Office Furniture Shorts (1100m) at Randwick today.
Ball Of Muscle ($5, Glyn Schofield) doesn’t hold a slot for the $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 13 but was able hold out the fast finishing Invincible Star ($2.70 favourite) who is locked into a slot for the rich sprint in a month’s time.
Third placegetter Brave Smash ($4.40) is also in The Everest and was doing his best work over the concluding stages to fill the minor placings.
There is one slot left to be filled for The Everest and The Shorts winning trainer Joe Pride said that Ball Of Muscle wouldn’t be out of place in the $13 million sprint especially with his good Randwick form.
“He is a live chance (for The Everest). There are chances that some of the other horses may or may not make it to the race and he is certainly a very good horse here at Randwick and he still has a little bit of improvement left in him and looking forward to the next month with him,” Pride said.
Noted front runner Ball Of Muscle and Invincible Star were expected to trade blows out in front but the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained mare blew the start and had to settle midfield.
James McDonald had Invincible Star challenging the winner at the 250m mark, but Ball Of Muscle was too strong today at the end of the 1100m.
Ball Of Muscle has now made it two wins from two as an eight year old after scoring first up in the Group 3 $150,000 The Heath 1100 Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield a fortnight ago.
Ball Of Muscle’s job was also made a lot easier with the early morning scratching of the favourite Redzel because of muscle soreness.
“Very proud of this horse. He has come back as an eight year old in career best form,” Pride said.
“Glyn handles him really well and we had a bit of good fortune today. Redzel came out and this other filly missed the start but you have to be Johnny on the spot and that is where this bloke was today and able to take advantage of the situation.”