Moir Stakes beaten favourite Nature Strip has been withdrawn from the ATC’s slot for the 2018 $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 13.
The Darren Weir trained Nature Strip was signed up for the ATC’s slot after setting a new track record at Moonee Valley in winning the Group 2 $200,000 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m) at The Valley on September 8.
Nature Strip was then sent out as the odds on favourite for the Group 1 $500,000 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (1000m) at The Valley on Friday night but the flying chestnut ran out of petrol on the home turn and faded to finish eighth to Viddora.
Weir said after the Moir Stakes that he would see how Nature Strip comes through the race and would discuss his slot in The Everest with his connections.
“We’ll focus on the horse and let him tell us,” Weir said.
“We’d love to get him to The Everest but the horse comes first.”
Before the Moir Stakes there was only one slot left to be filled for The Everest with Max Whitby still searching for a candidate but now there is another opening with ATC Chairman Matt McGrath confirming via twitter that Nature Strip won’t be filling their slot.
“The ATC Chairman Matt McGrath has confirmed that Nature Strip will no longer run in The Everest. ATC on the search for a new slot runner,” the tweet read.
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) and Invincible Star (GPI Racing), with two remaining slot yet to be filled, ATC and Max Whitby.
Early betting for the 2018 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $5.50 Trapeze Artist, Redzel, $6.50 Vega Magic, $11 Santa Ana Lane, In Her Time, Brave Smash, $13 Graff, U S Navy Flag, Viddora, $15 Invincible Star, $17 Shoals, $21 English, Zousain, $26 Jungle Cat, $41 Home Of The Brave, $51 Le Romain, Written By, Pierata, $101 Kemono, Voodoo Lad, Ball Of Muscle.