The world’s richest race on turf is set to be run and won this Saturday at Royal Randwick, as a field of 12 has been selected by slot holders to contest The Everest (1200m).
It hasn’t been without drama, as long-time race favourite Giga Kick was forced to be withdrawn due to injury, along with Annabel Neasham-trained mare Sunshine In Paris unable to compete after a dominant win in the Group 2 Sheraco Stakes (1200m).
It’s left Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) winner I Wish I Win the hot commodity in the race, with the Peter Moody & Katherine Coleman camp only having one start for the preparation.
Godolphin have two horses engaged, as In Secret gains the services of leading Hong Kong hoop Zac Purton, and Cylinder, looking to replicate the path of Yes Yes Yes in 2019, coming through the Group 1 Golden Rose (1400m).
Proven Thoroughbreds also have two chances: last year’s Everest runner-up Private Eye, and rising star Think About It both boasting strong credentials heading into the weekend.
THE EVEREST 2023 ODDS
There has been a dramatic shift in the market post barrier draw, as I Wish I Win and Think About It now share favouritism at +350 with online bookmakers leaving it for punters early money to guide the market. Private Eye hasn’t budged from the +500 quote, while Overpass and Cylinder round out the horses in single figures at +800 apiece. Buenos Noches (+1000) is on the drift, however, Shinzo has seen some minor support into +1400.
THE EVEREST 2023 SPEEDMAP
The Bjorn Baker-trained five-year-old Overpass should be dictating terms on speed from barrier two. It’s going to be interesting to see who gets instructions to go forward outside of that. We’re anticipating Tommy Berry on Mazu (11) to be positive and possibly sit outside the leader. Cylinder (4) pinged the lids in the Golden Rose, leaving Zac Lloyd plenty of options and could easily slot into the one-one. Espiona (3) draws to tuck in behind Overpass, while Think About It (5) should be better than mid-field under Sam Clipperton. Shinzo (6) can sit handier than last start, while I Wish I Win (1) may be ridden to hold a position on the rail. Zac Purton has it all to do aboard In Secret (12), Buenos Noches (8) will drag back, and Hawaii Five Oh (10) will be searching for cover early along with Private Eye (9).
THE EVEREST 2023 FORM & BETTING PREVIEW
The younger horses have traditionally run well in the Everest, and we don’t see why that trend can’t continue here in the form of James Cummings-trained three-year-old, Cylinder. The son of Exceed And Excel put back-to-back wins together to kick-off the campaign before being narrowly defeated in the Golden Rose on September 23. He raced wide without cover on that occasion and still charged into the minor money despite the horrid trip. He brings strong claims, and with 53kgs to go along with the appointment of Zac Lloyd, Cylinder gets the nod and major bet in the race.
Buenos Noches has been worked to the minute by trainer Matthew Smith. The four-year-old stormed home to secure victory in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) at this course and distance on August 19, before a luckless third-place finish in The Shorts (1100m) behind Private Eye. We think he should’ve won with even running, and at the current quote with online betting sites, Buenos Noches warrants a saver in this year’s Everest.
The same can be said for Espiona. The Chris Waller-trained mare has been impressive in her two starts for the campaign – taking out the Group 2 Golden Pendant (1400m) stylishly in her latest effort. She’s drawn to get a lovely run just in behind the speed under Hugh Bowman, so look for her to be powering home at a massive price.
I Wish I Win can only run well despite a less-than-ideal barrier one. The Moody & Coleman camp have consistent said they wanted to draw wider; however, we don’t think the inside marble is a major negative. Luke Nolen will need to weave a passage on the inside, but if he can hold a position, we’d go as far to say he deserves clear favouritism.