By Brad Gray
Spieth has been back in his familiar Warwick Farm surrounds for seven weeks now but Bryce Heys doesn’t want to put “the cart before the horse” when it comes to thinking about The Everest.
“We’re hoping to trial him here at Warwick Farm on the 14th of August and run him first up in the Concorde Stakes (1100m) on the 2nd of September,” Heys said of the rising five-year-old.
“He is a bit bigger from where he was at last time but that’s just naturally where he is at in his life and how he was bred. He was always going to furnish. He is an athletic horse so not one that carriers a lot of excess.
“We’ll just bring him up as we have done in the past and we’re happy with the way he is ticking over. It’s just good to have him back in the stable. He looks great and we’re certainly happy with his condition. He is not a horse that you overly work.”
As far as the $10 million Royal Randwick feature The Everest is concerned, Heys has a few irons in the fire but wants to see Spieth stand up and prove himself a worthy contender first.
“We’d love to be there and he is having a preparation geared towards being cherry ripe in mid-October but I don’t want to put the cart before the horse.
“It’s the hottest ticket in town. From our standpoint, he has the profile whereby he could be competitive in The Everest. That’s the easy bit saying it but I think it’s important that when he goes to the Concorde that he runs very well and then we can make a decision from there.
“It’s important to have him placed to advantage and the Concorde is tailor made for him first-up then the spring will take care of itself. There is a plethora of options that he can run in. He can still run in The Shorts or Premiere or whatever it may be but we’d love to be there (The Everest) under the right circumstances where he warrants his place.”
Few punters would argue that Speith is one of the most deserving horses in training of a victory at the elite level and there’s every chance he gets his dues over the spring. Interestingly, Spieth not only takes after his old man in the looks department but perhaps his maturity too with Thorn Park winning his maiden Group One, which also happened to be his last race, at the age of five.
“He only had three starts in the autumn but it was a frustration because he wasn’t in the winners’ circles but this is the first time we’ve been able to give him a proper break,” Heys said.
“Prior to going out after the TJ (Smith Stakes) he had been in and out of work for 12 months. That was by design but this was the first time he has been able to spend a lengthy time in the paddock. It’s not always the right thing with older horses like him but I just think for where he was at, he has definitely benefited from it.”
Heys is a subscriber to the theory that ‘dreams are free’ and the congenial horseman has no doubt how different life would be if The Everest trophy happened to find a home on his mantelpiece.
“(The Everest) is a game charger. At the moment I’ve got five horses in work. We chug along okay but through weight of numbers it’s hard to turn out a metropolitan horse. To have a horse like Spieth is evidence that we can prepare a horse for a big day.”