I Wish I Win fronts Kiwi Everest presence

I Wish I Win takes out the 2023 TJ Smith. Photo: Bradleyphotos.com.au

Star New Zealand-bred and owned four-year-old I Wish I Win will target the $20 million Everest (1200m) after securing a slot in the race.

Supercharged by its recent strategic partnering agreement with Entain, Trackside Media secured the use of the Inglis slot in this year’s race, which will be staged on October 14 at Randwick.

In an enormous coup for New Zealand, connections of the Waikato Stud bred and raced son of Savabeel have agreed to terms to race in the Trackside slot.

“We had been involved in discussions with a number of the slot holders, but when we found out that a Kiwi company had secured a slot in this year’s race it became a very easy decision,” Waikato Stud principal Mark Chittick said.

“I Wish I Win has been a dream horse for us. He has quickly gone through the grades and to think he has now secured a spot to race for $20 million is a pinch yourself moment.

“We really hope by partnering with Trackside, we can bring New Zealand on this journey with us. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the New Zealand breeding industry which time and again shows it punches above its weight.

“Obviously we just want to get the horse to the race in the best possible shape and then enjoy being a part of such a magnificent event in our great sport.”

A multiple Group One performer in New Zealand as a two and three-year-old under the care of Jamie Richards, I Wish I Win has flourished since joining the Pakenham stable of Peter Moody.

A memorable victory in the $10 million Golden Eagle (1500m) last spring was the launching pad for a strong autumn which culminated in I Wish I Win landing the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m), having previously placed in the both the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) and Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m).

“It is the first time I’ve had a horse good enough to have a crack at The Everest and I’m delighted to have secured a slot this far out,” said Moody, who shares in the ownership of the gelding.

“It will allow us to really tailor his preparation down to the minute.

“I’m also thrilled to be going on this ride with my good mates at Waikato Stud. We have enjoyed a long association and this horse is very special to all of us.”

I Wish I Win is likely to resume in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley in early September, where a clash with fellow Everest hopeful Giga Kick looms as an early entrée to the feature.

Entain New Zealand’s Managing Director, Cameron Rodger, said securing a slot in The Everest on behalf of Trackside was a significant moment and was an opportunity to celebrate the New Zealand thoroughbred racing and breeding industries.

“We have obviously watched the growth of The Everest in Australia for a number of years, however wagering performance and engagement on the race in New Zealand has remained under-indexed,” Rodger said.

“In what we hope will be the first year of many being involved in The Everest, we look forward to working closely with Racing NSW to get all Kiwis engaged in The Everest to cheer on one of our very own in I Wish I Win.

“To have the chance to not only be part of it, but to go across with a New Zealand bred superstar in I Wish I Win and with a legitimate chance to win is an absolute thrill for all the team at Entain.

“New Zealand has a very proud racing heritage, but for a number of years the industry has been underfunded and losing ground. As we have seen with the recent increases in stakes money, as a result of the new strategic agreement with Entain, we are ready to kick back in a big way.”

New Zealand bred horses have enjoyed outstanding success in Australia this season, winning 21 Group One races (28.4 percent), yet account for just 8 percent of all runners.

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