Aidan O’Brien’s brilliant colt Caravaggio is still in contention for the $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14 despite suffering his first defeat at Newmarket over the weekend.
Irish three year old Caravaggio was chasing his seventh win from seven starts and his third Group 1 victory when he lined up in the Group 1 £500,000 Darley July Cup (1200m) at Newmarket in England last Saturday as the 10-11 favourite but after being slow to leave the starting gates, wound up in fourth position behind the consistent Clive Cox trained Harry Angel.
O’Brien said that he wasn’t disappointed with the effort of the colt and that there are many options for Caravaggio in England and France but the champion Irish trainer is still considering a trip down under for the inaugural running of the The Everest.
“We ran a good race, but the winner was very good on the day,” O’Brien said.
“The lads will obviously decide what’s next, but John (Magnier) was just saying that we might have a look at the Maurice de Gheest.
“We’ll see how he is after a week or 10 days. I think the Everest is still on the table. If he went to France that could be very much so still.
“After France the lads would have to make a decision what they want to do. Whether they want to go to Australia. I imagine if he was going there he would have to have a little break.
“Either that or he’d just keep going on, to York or somewhere. We’ll try to get to the next one first and see how we go.”
Despite suffering his first defeat from seven starts, Caravaggio still has an impeccable recored that includes two Group 1 wins in the €250,000 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes (1207m) at the Curragh in Ireland on August 7, 2016, and in the £400,000 Commonwealth Cup (6 furlongs) at Royal Ascot on June 23.
The early market order for The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au has seen Caravaggio ease out to be on the third line of betting at $8 behind Team Hawkes’ champion sprinter Chautauqua at $4.80 and Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign at $5.50.
Early market order for the 2017 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.80 Chautauqua, $5.50 She Will Reign, $8 Caravaggio, $11 Winx, $13 English, $15 Russian Revolution, Houtzen, $17 Spieth, Lady Aurelia $21 Fell Swoop, Limato, Vega Magic, $26 Acapulco, Black Heart Bart, Lankan Rupee, Bound For Nowhere, Mecca’s Angel, Redzel, Terravista, $34, Global Glamour, Malaguerra, Music Magnate, Takedown, $41 or better the rest.