With the end of the AFL and NRL seasons, the sporting world’s attention turns to the Spring Racing Carnival. For purists, all eyes are on the races down south that are steeped in history. But lately, there’s a new kid in town that’s been ruffling a few feathers – The TAB Everest. It’s emerged as a major disruptor – flashy, brash and full of cash – and if its popularity is anything to go by, it’s here to stay.
What is The TAB Everest?
Quite simply, it’s the richest horse race in Australia and the richest turf race in the world. It’s run over 1,200 metres and is a weight for age thoroughbred race (younger horses carry a lower weight) that is now into its fifth incarnation, having first been run in 2017. Rich in prize money, but not history. The total prize money is a mouth-watering $15 million dollars, with the winner pocketing a cool $6.2 million. In fact, finish in the top-four and you’ll walk away with a seven-figure sum of money. If you think this is too good to be true, your instincts are bang on. To enter The TAB Everest – or to earn one of 12 slots in the starting lineup – you’ll have to cough up $600,000. Most runners are backed by investors, with a lot of behind the scenes wheeling and dealing involved.
Where is The TAB Everest race held?
The TAB Everest is run at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney. It’s a short cab ride from the CBD and one of the most iconic and historic racecourses in Australia.
When’s the big race itself?
Tune in or turn up to Randwick on Saturday, 16 October. The 2021 TAB Everest race time is 4:15pm (AEST).
The significance of the race (besides the prize money)
The TAB Everest is modelled off an American race called the Pegasus World Cup. Previous winners include Redzel (2017, 2018), Yes Yes Yes (2019) and Classique Legend (2020). Remarkably jockey Kerrin McEvoy has been on board the winner three times.
The Runners & Barrier Draw
Gytrash (1) – Firstly, it’s not pronounced Gy-Trash – it’s Gee-Trah. Dominated at his home tracks in South Australia before landing on the scene, winning the Group One Lightning Stakes at Flemington, beating the two-time TAB Everest champion, Redzel.
Lost and Running (2) – A lightly raced three-year-old gelding who has only missed the top-two placings in its career twice, albeit in his last two starts. Hopefully, more running and less lost.
Embracer (3) – One of the final two runners confirmed for The TAB Everest, the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained gelding looks like one of the outsiders. Having said that, it would take a bold punter to write off anything trained by the Queen of the Turf.
Trekking (4) – Another one that comes via the Melbourne form lines of the Moir Stakes, Trekking ran a bold third behind Wild Ruler. Owned by the powerhouse stable of Godolphin.
Classique Legend (5) – Legend by name, legend by nature. This gelding was last year’s winner and arguably the favourite again in 2021. Can he do what only Redzel has done and win this race multiple times? The punters are inclined to think so.
Home Affairs (6) – A talented three-year-old colt owned by the Coolmore empire, a win here would likely see him pursue early retirement and life in the breeding barn.
Eduardo (7) – Starting his career in the hands of the little known Sarah Zschok before being transferred to the famous Joseph Pride stable and has never looked back. Last start he was a Randwick winner, beating both Nature Strip and Gytrash.
Libertini (8) – Bart Cummings wouldn’t have thought in his wildest dreams a son of his could be training a horse in a $15 million race. Anthony Cummings’ Libertini has beaten the favourite Classique Legend over the same distance in October last year.
Masked Crusader (9) – We love this narrative. In April last year, he was running around in a Benchmark 70 in Bendigo. Now he’s on one of the biggest stages…and in form, having won his last start at Randwick in a Group Two.
Nature Strip (10) – A six-time Group One winner, this horse is all class. Don’t be discouraged by a seventh-place finish in last year’s race. Will it be the third time lucky? Nature Strip has finished in the top two of his last six races. Not bad.
Wild Ruler (11) – Five of his six wins in his short career have come at Randwick. Clearly loves the course. Wild, but perhaps the ruler of this track. Stay Tuned.
The Inferno (12) – If this horse was a cocktail we’d call it the Singapore Sling. Since arriving from Singapore in August, The Inferno caught the eye, bolting home in the Group One Moir Stakes at Mooney Valley. He’s a big watch – even if Sydney siders don’t rate the Melbourne form line.
What does history tell us?
In the first four runnings of The TAB Everest, the winners have come from the following barriers:
- 2017 – Redzel (4)
- 2018 – Redzel (1)
- 2019 – Yes Yes Yes (9)
- 2020 – Classique Legend (6)
Now for the inside word on Lost And Running with trainer John O’Shea, watch the feature below.
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