The Everest fairytale is on.
After six weeks of agony, Sydney racing identity Bert Vieira was given a slice of ecstasy as I Like It Easy did it the hard way to win on Everest day at Randwick.
The Gerald Ryan-trained filly ($11 outsider) held on by a half-neck to win the listed Reginald Allen Quality (1400m) ahead of late-swooping Evalina ($6.50) and a plodding Bubbles’n’troubles ($5.50).
With 29,000 spectators already on course, I Like It Easy’s first-up victory on a heavy-nine track sparked wild scenes among the Vieira Racing syndicate as emotion boiled over.
Out of Gai’s Choice, the three-year-old has a special place in part owner Vieira’s heart.
It was named by his wife Gai, who remains in a coma after a serious accident in September where her car was hit by a speeding highway patrol car pursuing another vehicle.
Surrounded by his son and daughter, Vieira managed to crack a smile and joke after the heart-warming win.
“To have her win like that – it wasn’t I Like It Easy, but it did alright. I’ll take it,” he said.
Vieira was staying positive his wife would recover and be able to share in the potential spoils of Trapeze Artist, his runner in the $13 million Everest later in the day.
“We’re confident on everything,” he said.
“We’re confident we can do well (in the Everest). I’m confident I’m bringing my wife home.
“We’re going to do this.”
Trapeze Artist’s trainer Ryan said it was great to give the Vieira clan a lift and suggested Bert was his lucky charm.
“It’s good that Bert’s come. Now I know what’s been missing,” he laughed.
“He’s come on the right day. This filly means a lot to him.
“It was Gai who came up with the name I Like It Easy because she has to be easy.”
But Ryan isn’t satisfied delivering just one win for Vieira, with the main race in his sights.