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High drama is unfolding in the lead up to the 2018 $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 13 with the addition of a new candidate while two slots runners are in doubt.

Graff,above, has been selected to run in the slot owned by Max Whitby in The Everest at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Graff,above, has been selected to run in the slot owned by Max Whitby in The Everest at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Slot holders Max Whitby and Neil Werret have selected the Kris Lees trained Graff to fill their slot which became vacant after their first choice Menari broke down during his preparation and has subsequently been retired to stud.

Graff created a huge impression with a spectacular first up win in the Group 3 $150,000 Singapore Airlines San Domenico Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill on August 25 and has been placed at his next two starts at Rosehill with a second in the Group 2 $200,000 The Run To The Rose (1200m) followed by a third in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m).

Tulloch Lodge co-trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott have two runners signed up for The Everest, English and Invincible Star, but both mares will have to pass a veterinary examination before being allowed to take their place in the twelve horse field.

Group 1 winning mare English has been signed up to run for slot holder Damion Flower in the The Everest but the Doomben 10,000 winning mare was found to be slightly lame after competing in a jump out on the Kensington track at Randwick on Monday.

Racing New South Wales Stewards informed the Waterhouse – Bott stable that English would be examined later in the week to determination the progress of her injury.

GPI Racing’s slot runner Invincible Star has also been ordered to under a thorough examination later in the week by Racing New South Wales’ veterinarian Dr Toby Koeing after the mare was found to be lame after finishing seventh of eight behind Santa Ana Lane in the Group 2 $500,000 Santos Coffee Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick last Saturday.

Below is the complete statement relaeased by Racing New South Wales with relation to Invincible Star and English.

Invincible Star – “At the request of Racing NSW Stewards, Racing NSW Chief Veterinary Officer Dr Toby Koenig conducted a veterinary inspection of Invincible Star following its disappointing performance in the Premier Stakes conducted at Randwick on Saturday.

“Dr Koenig reported that in his opinion Invincible Star was found to be grade 3/5 lame in the off fore leg.

“When interviewed by Stewards today co-trainer Mr A Bott advised that the mare had not been treated by its regular stable veterinarian Dr Leanne Begg, who is due to inspect Invincible Star tomorrow. Mr Bott was requested to provide Racing NSW Stewards with the treatment records for the mare and for the stable to confer with Dr Koenig in respect to the treatment plan for Invincible Star, to enable Dr Koenig to examine Invincible Star later this week to assess its suitability to race in The TAB Everest.”

English – “Subsequent to competing in a jump-out on the Kensington track today (Monday), Racing NSW veterinarians Dr Toby Koenig and Dr James Mizzi conducted an inspection of English which revealed English to be grade 1/5 lame in the near fore leg.

“English will be examined by Racing NSW veterinarians later this week to ascertain the mares progress in the lead up to The TAB Everest. Co-trainer Mr A Bott was advised a veterinary clearance would be required for the mare before racing again.”

Pre-post betting for the 2018 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au has Graff marked at $15 while Invincible Star has drifted out to $26 and English has also got the blows and is now marked at a $34 chance.

The Premiere Stakes winner Santa Ana Lane now sits at the top of the market order at $6 ahead In Her Time, Trapeze Artist and Vega Magic, all listed at $7.50 while the early favourite Redzel has drifted out to $8.50 alongside of Shoals.

Confirmed runners for the 2018 The Everest: Trapeze Artist (Aquis, slot holder), In Her Time (TAB),  Redzel (Yulong Investments), Brave Smash (Chris Waller Racing), Shoals (The Star), English (Damion Flower), Santa Ana Lane (Inglis), U S Navy Flag (Coolmore), Vega Magic (James Harron), Invincible Star (GPI Racing) and  Graff (Max Whitby), with one remaining slot owned by the ATC yet to be filled.

Pre-post betting for the 2018 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6 Santa Ana Lane, $7.50 In Her Time, Trapeze Artist, Vega Magic, $8.50 Redzel, Shoals, $11 U S Navy Flag, $13 Brave Smash, $15 Graff, Viddora, $21 Home Of The Brave, Le Romain, $26 Invincible Star, Jungle Cat, Zousain, $34 English, $41 Pierata, $61 Written By, $101 Ball Of Muscle, Kemono, Voodoo Lad.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.