Australian Turf Club’s world-renowned Everest Carnival launches at Royal Randwick this Saturday with the Group 1 $1 million Fujitsu General George Main Stakes on a program bursting with star gallopers.
Eight-time Group 1 winner and ruling favourite for Horse of the Year Verry Elleegant commands TAB markets in the Fujitsu General George Main Stakes which rises to $1 million prizemoney (from $500,000) to start Sydney’s $50 million seven-week racing spectacular.
The Chris Waller-trained mare is a firm $2.20 TAB favourite with James McDonald aboard in a field featuring six other Group 1 winners with combined prizemoney of more than $25 million. Group 1-giant killer Think It Over has been heavily backed from $6-$4.40 TAB for popular trainer Kerry Parker and Royal Randwick specialist jockey Nash Rawiller.
Three-time Group 1 winner Kolding (including last year’s George Main Stakes and a horse with six victories at Royal Randwick) is $8 TAB for Waller and jockey Tim Clark. Godolphin’s reigning Doncaster Mile champion Cascadian is $8-$9 TAB for trainer James Cummings and jockey Hugh Bowman, aiming for a fifth George Main victory in less than a decade.
On a huge 10-race card, the Group 2 $500,000 Bowerman’s Commercial Furniture Shorts and Group 2 Darley Tea Rose Stakes – the third leg of the prestigious Darley Princess Series – add further horsepower.
Six TAB Everest slot runners clash in the Bowerman’s Commercial Furniture Shorts in a mouth-watering opening on Saturday ahead of the race that shakes the racing world during the Everest Carnival, the $15 million TAB Everest at Royal Randwick on 16 October.
Nature Strip ($2.40 Waller/McDonald), Masked Crusader ($4-$4.40 Hawkes Racing/Josh Parr), early backed Rothfire ($7-$5.50 Rob Heathcote/Tim Clark) Eduardo ($7-$8.50 Joe Pride/Nash Rawiller), Lost and Running ($8-$7 John O’Shea/Hugh Bowman) and Gytrash ($13 Gordon Richards & Damien Moyle/Jason Collett) make the Bowerman’s Commercial Shorts an Everest market-shaper.
The John Sargent-trained and Rawiller-ridden Four Moves Ahead opens a $4.40-$4.20 top pick in the Darley Tea Rose Stakes, ahead of She’s All Class at $5 (Waller and McDonald), Mallory at $6 (Gerald Ryan & Sterling Alexiou/Jason Collett) and Latino Blend at $8-$8.50 (Peter & Paul Snowden/Kerrin McEvoy).
Swift Witness who is a joint points leader in the Darley Princess Series (7 points) is at $11 on Saturday for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott and jockey Tim Clark. The series offers 7 points a win, three points second and one point third with other Saturday runners Latino Blend and Robodira (3 points), and Four Moves Ahead and Mallory (1 point) in contention.
Australian Turf Club Executive General Manager Racing and Wagering, James Ross said the Everest Carnival was opening with a spectacular meeting ahead of seven weeks of world-class racing.
“The Fujitsu General George Main Stakes has attracted a stellar field of Royal Randwick milers including reigning winners of the Chipping Norton, Doncaster Mile, George Main Stakes, Randwick Guineas and Chelmsford Stakes,’’ Mr Ross said.
“It is pleasing to see the prizemoney increase to $1 million for one of our great traditional races deliver a clash between four category award winners in the NSWROA Horse of the year Title. Sydney’s pathway of sprint races to the TAB Everest has also brought together a world-class field of sprinters in Bowerman’s Commercial Furniture The Shorts which in itself will again be a fantastic prelude to the TAB Everest.’’
Saturday’s Royal Randwick meeting will be covered live through SKY Thoroughbred Central, SKY Racing 1 and on TAB and SKY Racing Active accounts. The meeting is also televised live free to air on Channel Seven.
For all racing, general and ticketing information for the Australian Turf Club’s upcoming Everest Carnival go to theraces.com.au