By Brad Gray
James Harron is the first to book his spot in the inaugural running of the world’s richest turf race The Everest.
“It's a hugely exciting concept. It's a race which will capture the attention of not just the racing world, but the public as a whole,” said Harron, who heads up his own bloodstock agency James Harron Bloodstock.
“There's a huge buzz about this project - as befits a $10 million race.
“I'm sure that this will only increase as the slot purchases are announced and the contenders begin to emerge. It is going to be fascinating to follow the trading. We will be keeping a very close eye on sprinters domestically and internationally and plan on being very open to the possibility of doing a deal on our slot.”
The group of owners who have come together with Harron to purchase the first of the twelve Everest slots are Belinda Bateman, Fergus and Delia Doyle, Donna and Rob Love, Phil and Glenda Mehrten, John and Fran Ingham, Danny and Pauline Saab and Gary Diamond.
“The cornerstone of our business is to buy colts with the aim of creating stallions, very much the type of horses who would be aimed at weight-for-age sprints as three-year-olds,” said Harron.
“The Everest gives an outstanding chance to showcase three-year-old sprinters against not only the best horses in Australia, but very likely also against some of the best international sprinters.”
Harron, who won the Golden Slipper last year with Capitalist and will have Pariah running in his familiar green and gold colours in the two-year-old feature this afternoon, has no doubt that you will need a world class sprinter to win The Everest.
“With the race over six months away it is very early to be talking about specific horses, although the race really suits the kind of horses we are aiming to produce through the colt group, so I would be hopeful that one of the current two-year-olds develops into the right kind of horse.”
“Peter V'Landys and his team at Racing NSW deserve huge credit for putting this together, as do Darren Pearce and his team at the ATC. For me there is no doubt that this race will very quickly become one of the most important events on the global racing calendar.”
There has been enormous interest in The Everest, with only four slots remaining.
"Racing NSW and the ATC are accepting bids for slot licences, but interested bidders should act quickly. It is largely first in best dressed,” said Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys.
The Everest will be run at Royal Randwick over 1200 metres on 14 October 2017.