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Punters' Pal: The Everest (Randwick)

By Ray Hickson and Brad Gray

Nothing but quotes from every Everest jockey and every Everest trainer ahead of Saturday’s rich sprint feature at Royal Randwick.

1. CHAUTAUQUA

Michael Hawkes: “One thing you can’t do with champions is you can’t forget about them. Whether he is under the radar or not, people have their own opinion, but he is on song. We’ve set him for this race all along and can’t fault him.”

Brenton Avdulla: “He’s probably looking for a bit of the cut out of the ground and a race where they go brutal on the speed. All his best wins have been when he’s been well back in fast run races with a bit of cut out. Saturday is his grand final, it’s what he has been set for, so I’m sure Team Hawkes has him all fired up and ready to go.”

2. VEGA MAGIC

Ben Hayes: “Vega Magic has always been a very keen horse, he destroys the horses we work him with so he does most of his work by himself. We keep asking the question and he keeps producing.’’

Craig Williams: “In the future he’s going to be a topliner for seasons to come. Whether it be as a sprinter or sprinter-miler I think they have options with him. He has good tactical speed and great stamina and most important he has great ability. And he just wants to win.”

3. REDZEL

Peter Snowden: “The best preparation with this horse is he loves a month between runs, if you can do that he's almost unbeatable. He's probably a more seasoned horse now, and he's getting a good 1200m which is going to be the utmost importance.’’

Kerrin McEvoy: “He’s a happy horse, he’s a relaxed horse at the trials and he trialled in nice style last week. His work on Tuesday morning showed he’s in a good frame of mind. He switches on when you need him to and he definitely saves his best for race day.”

4. REDKIRK WARRIOR

Ben Hayes: “The only reason he ran in the Bobbie Lewis was to get him the slot because people were a bit put off by his form in Sydney last time But that was on heavy 10 tracks and over a mile and 1400m.’’

Regan Bayliss: “I think (The Star) have chosen the right horse. He is a good worker and that showed up the straight at Randwick on Monday, he stretched his legs out beautifully. Most importantly he was nice and relaxed and going on his right leg.”

5. CLEARLY INNOCENT

Kris Lees: “If someone had asked beforehand what I would like, I would have said around midfield. You can’t get any more midfield than six. That will give Hugh the opportunity to get him to the outside in the straight and enable him to wind up.”

Hugh Bowman: “I’m going into the race on a genuine 10/1 shot but I’m looking forward to the challenge. He’s not really a headline horse but he impressed me so much in Brisbane. Can he win the Everest? I wouldn’t say I’m expecting him to win but it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if he does.’’

6. DEPLOY

Gerald Ryan: “When he broke the record at Randwick he sat behind the speed. I can’t picture Deploy leading the race, depending on where he draws he’ll be just behind the speed. He has fitness, toughness and he doesn’t know how to run a bad race. He’s a winner.”

Josh Parr: “He’s come a long way. When I let him down the other day he showed a really brilliant turn of foot. He possesses a turn of foot usually but not as brilliant as in the Theo Marks. When he let rip he really went, he lowered to the ground and took off which is a good horse’s trait.’’

7. FELL SWOOP

Matthew Dale: “The whole way along I said he’ll need the first two runs to be improving into The Everest. He’s come through the runs well and in an ideal world I’d like to see a bit of sting out of the track.’’

Tye Angland: “There’s probably five lengths between all of them and then it comes down to who is going to have the best run and the most luck. Matty (Dale) is obviously training him to peak third-up.”

8. BRAVE SMASH (JPN)

Darren Weir: “We haven’t really asked him for anything but the blinkers seem to have worked. He wasn’t good enough (last run) and that’s probably not good enough form going to The Everest. There’s still big money to run third. I’m a realist, I’m not a dreamer. He has a massive job ahead of him.”

Jamie Spencer: “There looks like being a lot of speed in the race and with the blinkers on he should hopefully be a bit sharper and more alert. I’ve been watching a lot of replays from Sydney trying to get my mind fixed on the track.”

9. ENGLISH

Adrian Bott: “We know her racing pattern now and that won’t change a huge amount. When she is allowed to switch off and relax she has got that brilliant turn of foot so that’s her real asset – her acceleration. If she can conserve energy, she is more brilliant at the finish.”

Blake Shinn: “I’ve had a lot to do with her and I think she is going great. That last run gave me a lot of confidence. Her sprint there was as good as she has sprinted for me in any of her races. I wouldn’t swap my horse for anything. She has had the right preparation.”

10. SHE WILL REIGN

Gary Portelli: “The way she (won the Moir) gave me confidence we can go into The Everest and be a great chance of winning. That was a Group One but this is a real Group One.’’

Corey Brown: “I’ve only been on her in trackwork conditions but it was just confirming what I’ve seen. To get on her and have a feel of what I’ve viewed it has confirmed that she’s a superstar little horse. You can feel the motor behind you, she has a big hindquarter on her. She gives you the feel of a good horse. With a barrier draw like that (two) I can put her wherever she is happy.

11. HOUTZEN

Toby Edmonds: “If She Will Reign is one of the chances I’m pretty confident on a fair track if we didn’t beat her in the Slipper we would have been close to her. “I think she will finish closer to first than last.”

Jeff Lloyd: "If I had drawn barrier 10 or 11 there would have been only one choice - to lead. But from barrier one there are more options. Should they want to go mad early I would be happy to take a sit behind them. Barrier one is a big advantage in a race like this.”

12. TULIP

Ben Hayes: “At home she’s a fantastic worker and when Coolmore was looking for a horse we suggested her. We worked her with one of our Group sprinters and she beat it so I think she will be very competitive. I think she’ll definitely be finishing up in the order.’’

Tim Clark: “We’re going in there with no pressure on us but I’ll approach it like any other race. Her form reads all right, she beat Alizee and ran third in a Slipper. She struggled a little at the 1400m the other day but back to 1200m with 51kg on her back I can’t see why she won’t run well.”

Check out the fields, form and replays for Everest Day at Royal Randwick

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