The winner of the Group 2 $400,000 Alpha Romeo Schillaci Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday will fill the final and twelfth slot for the 2019 $14m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 19.
The Melbourne Racing Club acquired The Everest slot from the Australian Turf Club and put into action a plan which will see the winner of the Schillaci Stakes offered the slot which is now the only vacancy in the $14m sprint.
The only hiccup to the Melbourne Racing Club’s offer will be if Oakleigh Plate winner Booker wins the Schillaci Stakes with her co-trainer Simon Zahra saying it would be very unlikely to see the mare back up in seven days in The Everest.
“We struggle to get three or four runs into her every prep,” Zahra told The Age.
“She’s got to win anyway, but she’d have to pull up unbelievable and for a big, strong mare, she always takes a long time to recover.”
If Booker wins and the training partnership of Matt Ellerton and Simon Zahra decline to take up the offer, the Melbourne Racing Club will then look to the runner up of the Schillaci Stakes to fill their slot.
The final make of The Everest gained momentum during the week with the Chris Waller trained Moir Stakes winner Nature Strip being snapped up by James Harron Bloodstock while his stablemate Yes Yes Yes will race under the Chris Waller Racing banner.
“I have been incredibly pleased with what he (Yes Yes Yes) has shown me over the past six weeks and am extremely confident he can acquit himself under weight-for-age conditions against an outstanding field of open age sprinters,” Waller said.
“Yes Yes Yes is an exceptional talent and I am eager to see him perform in The Everest.”
Godolphin also finalised their Everest slot by engaging their multiple Group 1 winner Alizee to carry the royal blue colours in the world’s richest sprint.
Waller will have three runners in The Everest and as well as Nature Strip and Yes Yes Yes, the leading Sydney trainer will also saddle up high class West Australian mare Arcadia Queen for The Star.
Betting at Ladbrokes.com.au for the Schillaci Stakes has the James Cummings trained Trekking at the top of the market order at $2.60 ahead of Bons Away at $5 and The Bostonian at $6.50.
Betting for the 2019 Schillaci Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.60 Trekking, $5 Bons Away, $6.50 The Bostonian, $8.50 Ball Of Muscle, $9.50 Despatch, $10 Viridine, Booker, $26 Ashlor, $34 Rebel King.
The Anthony Freedman trained Santa Ana Lane is the ruling favourite for The Everest at $4.60 with Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of Pierata at $5 and Arcadia Queen at $6.
Slots for the 2019 The Everest that have been allocated are The Star – Arcadia Queen, Yulong Investments – Redzel, Max Whitby – Sunlight, TAB – Santa Ana Lane, Aquis – Pierata, Bon Ho & Carmel Size Racing – Classique Legend and Inglis – In Her Time, Coolmore – Ten Sovereigns, Godolphin – Alizee, James Harron Bloodstock – Nature Strip, Chris Waller Racing – Yes Yes Yes.
Betting for the 2019 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.60 Santa Ana Lane, $5 Pierata, $6 Arcadia Queen, $9 Classique Legend, $10 Redzel, Sunlight, $12 Alizee, Bivouac, Yes Yes Yes, $15 Nature Strip, $17 In Her Time, Ten Sovereigns, $41 Trekking, $51 The Bostonian, $67 Home Of The Brave, $101 Eduardo.