We have already been treated to some excellent racing over the last few weeks and this weekend promises to produce some even greater highs with the running of the inaugural TAB Everest at Randwick. It is also Caulfield Guineas day in Melbourne with features the Caulfield Guineas, Thousand Guineas, Caulfield Stakes and Toorak Handicap all at Group 1 level not to mention two Group 2’s, two Group 3’s and two Listed races.
This week M + E wanted to provide a little feature on the Hunter Valley’s interests in the World’s richest race on Turf – the $10M TAB Everest.
The Everest contains 12 runners each vying for first prizemoney of $5,800,000 and a total of $10 million in prizemoney.
Vega Magic, She Will Reign and Chautauqua are all thereabouts for favouritism but Morgan + English will be cheering for these Hunter Valley locals to do us proud:
Clearly Innocent (Not A Single Doubt) was previously trained at the Scone Racecourse by former leading trainer Greg Bennett and is owned by Cressfield Stud Syndicate. “Clearly” rose to popularity when winning the inaugural Country Championship Final at Randwick in 2016 when trained by Greg Bennett before coming back to Scone to take out the Luskin Star Stakes during the Scone Cup Carnival that year.
Clearly Innocent was later transferred to Kris Lees at Broadmeadow to continue his racing career and succeeded in winning the Luskin Star Stakes again in 2017 during the Scone Cup Carnival before going on to run 3rd in the 2017 Stradbroke Handicap at Doomben.
Clearly comes into the Everest after a slashing 3rd first-up in the Premiere Stakes at the same track and distance as the Everest and appears to have a great chance. Go Clearly!
Prior to his death earlier this year, former president of the Scone Race Club Noel Leckie took great pleasure in cheering home Houtzen (I Am Invincible) to victory in the Magic Millions 2yo classic on the Gold Coast.
Noel was the breeder of Houtzen who was reared at Yarraman Park here in the Hunter Valley. Noel was also instrumental in the Scone Race Club having its own stand-alone Saturday meeting over the 2-day Scone Cup Carnival every year which is the most exciting time of year for the town.
Houtzen has been tuned up for a crack at the Everest with two lead ups runs, both at Moonee Valley, including a victory in the Scarborough Stakes on the 29th of September. With just 51 kgs on its back, we all hope Houtzen can stave off the challengers and bring a great deal of joy to the town!
Houtzen with Jockey Jeff Lloyd. Photo credit: Nigel Hallett
Part owned by Segenhoe Stud in the Hunter Valley, Deploy has broken two track records at its last two starts, and now holds the current track record of the Everest 1200m at Randwick! So when we had heard Deploy had been taken in Chris Waller’s slot to run in the Everest, we thought we’d get behind this well-bred gelding as it attempts to scorch the turf and bring the Everest trophy to the Hunter Valley.
Good luck to all involved.
Deploy pictured after winning at Randwick last prep. Photo Credit: Bradley Photography