Eduardo and Gytrash began their spring preparations on Tuesday morning at the Warwick Farm trials, with both sprinters headed towards The Everest in October.
The two Group 1 winners went around in Trial 3 over 805m, with the speedy Eduardo leading on the rails to win it in 47.21 seconds while Gytrash got back in the run and worked home very well into third place.
Although the Gordon Richards-trained Gytrash already has an Everest slot secured with Inglis, the Joseph Pride-trained Eduardo has yet to be snaffled up by any of the slot-holders, so he was out to make a statement this morning.
“It was what we wanted to see,” Pride told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“We didn’t want to go out there and break any records today, because he’s the sort of horse that will do what you let him do and we didn’t want to see him run a lightning quick time and have it flatten him in any way.
“He’s in terrific order, there’s no doubt about that.”
Nash Rawiller, Eduardo’s regular jockey, was unable to take the ride at the Warwick Farm trials due to COVID protocols, so young Irish hoop Robbie Dolan did the steering.
“It was his first sit on the horse, so he was impressed as you would be,” Pride said.
“If you throw your keys of a Ferrari to someone and say take it for a spin, it wouldn’t be too often they’re disappointed.”
Eduardo will begin his campaign in The Shorts at Royal Randwick on September 18 over 1100m – the same race that Classique Legend took out on his way to winning The Everest in 2020.
“It’s all about the preparation for him,” Pride said.
“I’ve spent the last 12 months really getting to know him and coming up with a formula which I like to do with all my older Group horses and how to get them to peak, and we learnt last preparation with him that he’s probably best early in the preparation.
“Just look at his last preparation; he went first-up and broke the track record in the Challenge (Stakes) and then three weeks later really ran at a peak run in The Galaxy.
“That Galaxy run is sort of where I need to have him for an assault on The Everest.”
Pride says that there are two prospective slot-holders for his eight-year-old star, with a deal to be finalised in the coming weeks.
Both Eduardo and Gytrash took part in The Everest in 2020, and both carry some residual fitness after a light Brisbane Winter Carnival campaign which saw Eduardo win the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 and Gytrash finish 12th in the Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup.
While Gytrash went six weeks between runs into The Everest in 2020 after victory in the Concorde Stakes, his trainer has said he will instead have four weeks off this time around as he looks to improve on last year’s third-place finish.
Eduardo and Gytrash are currently both $15 chances to win the $15 million race which will be run on October 16 at Royal Randwick.