Early three year old star Menari has been selected by Max Whitby to fill his slot in the 2018 version of the $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 13.
It will be almost twelve months before Menari returns to the race track in the Group 3 $160,000 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on September 1 after recovering from a throat operation.
Menari was sent out as the $2.40 favourite for the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill last September but could only finish third behind his $41 longshot stablemate Trapeze Artist who is already signed up to run in Aquis’ slot in The Everest.
Trainer Gerald Ryan put the defeat down to a wind disorder but he is confident that the Snitzel colt has overcome the problem and has pleased the high profile trainer in his Spring Carnival preparation so far.
“Trapeze Artist was too good that day but Menari had a little wind problem and in a fast-run race where he couldn’t relax properly over 1400m, he probably just ran out of air,’’ Ryan told The Daily Telegraph.
“But he has had an operation and is very good now. He looks magnificent — he’s big and strong.
“I will trial him in a month, then he will have another trial before he resumes in the Concorde Stakes. He will then go to The Shorts and hopefully will line up in The Everest.”
Ryan has pencilled in the Group 2 $200,000 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 15 as Menari’s second up run in preparation for The Everest.
Menari is now listed a $12 chance for The Everest with Ladbrokes.com.au and will line up against his multiple Group 1 winning stablemate Trapeze Artist who heads the market order at $4.50.
Trapeze Artist was one of the stars of the 2018 Sydney Autumn Carnival with two Group 1 wins at Randwick in the $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) on April 7 and in the $600,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) a fortnight later.
Slot holder Max Whitby had the Lindsay Park trained Vega Magic race in his slot last year and the former West Australian trained sprinter ran a mighty race to finish second to the brilliant Redzel.
Menari is the ninth sprinter to secure a slot for the 2018 The Everest and as well as Trapeze Artist (Aquis, slot holder), will join seven other confirmed starters for the second running of the world’s richest sprint race on turf, In Her Time (TAB), Redzel (Yulong Investments), Brave Smash (Chris Waller Racing), Shoals (The Star), English (Damion Flower), Santa Ana Lane (Inglis) and U S Navy Flag (Coolmore).
Early betting for the 2018 The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.50 Trapeze Artist, $6 Redzel, $9 U S Navy Flag, $10 In Her Time, Santa Ana Lane, $12 Kementari, Menari, $14 Shoals, $16 Vega Magic, Nature Strip, $18 English, Brave Smash, Chautauqua, $21 Winx, $26 Blue Point, Harry Angel, Menari, Redkirk Warrior, $31 Equilateral, Happy Clapper, Prized Icon, $34 Alizee, Estijaab, Le Romain, Viddora, $41 Hot King Prawn, Invincible Star, $51 or better the rest.