Gytrash’s trainer Gordon Richards still rates Nature Strip as the horse to beat in the $15 million The TAB Everest and is increasingly wary of the brilliant group of three-year-olds likely to make up half the field for the world’s richest turf race.
But Richards has the horse everyone else is worried about after giant-killer Gytrash swept aside Nature Strip – the world’s highest-rated sprinter – in the Concorde Stakes at Randwick last Saturday.
Richards said Gytrash had pulled up well after his winning Sydney debut and revealed the sprinter may not race again before The Everest, run at Royal Randwick on October 17.
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Jason Collett guided Gytrash to an impressive victory at Randwick.Source:Getty Images
“The more I think about it, the more I’m sure he won’t have another run before The Everest,’’ Richards told the Big Sports Breakfast Weekend on Sunday.
“We have our slot, we have got the horse winning this way of going and it won’t hurt him to go six weeks between runs.’’
Gytrash firmed from $11 to $6 for The Everest after beating Nature Strip for the second time in as many clashes in the Concorde Stakes. Nature Strip retains favouritism although he’s eased from $2.50 out to $3.
The Adelaide-based trainer believes the bookies have got it right keeping Nature Strip at the top of Everest betting.
“We have all seen Nature Strip, he can be scintillating one start, not so good the next,’’ Richards said.
“He wasn’t quite at his best (Saturday) but as James McDonald said, he’s improving because we beat him three-and-a-half lengths the first time (Lightning Stakes) and only one-and-half lengths this time.
“We went there (Concorde Stakes) not high on expectations, more on hope, and for Gytrash to win it so easily in the end was exciting.’’
Richards will have a better understanding of some of the elite three-year-olds in Everest contention when Rothfire, Farnan, King’s Legacy, Mamaragan, Peltzer and others clash in the Group 2 Run To The Rose at Rosehill Gardens on Saturday.
“I don’t have a big handle on the eastern seaboard racing but I will be watching with interest to see how they go,’’ he said.
Gordon Richards and Jason Collett were pretty content after Gytrash’s victory.Source:Getty Images
V’landys pays tribute to master horseman
Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys has paid tribute to popular Warwick Farm trainer Rick Worthington who lost his long battle with cancer on Saturday. He was 60.
“The industry has lost one of its nicest and hardest working trainers following the passing of Rick Worthington,” V’landys said.
“Everyone knew how hard Rick worked and he was a brilliant horseman. However, Rick also worked hard behind the scenes to make conditions better for trainers. A lot of the gains attained for trainers were due to Rick’s perseverance.
“He did it in a professional and courteous way, and always procured what he came in for, even the matters that were difficult to deliver.
“Rick was a real gentleman of the turf and our sincere condolences go out to his family and friends.”
A widely respected horseman, Worthington trained a number of classy gallopers over the years including dual Group 2 winner Whitefriars and Honesty Prevails. His most recent city winner was Steel Diamond at Rosehill in June.
It is a measure of the respect Worthingon was held that many of his peers at Randwick on Saturday were noticeably upset after learning of the trainer’s passing.
3000 and counting for Chris Waller.Source:Getty Images
Waller celebrates major milestone
Chris Waller reached a landmark in his training career with his 3000th winner on Saturday.
Humidor’s win in the Feehan Stakes at Moonee Valley was Waller’s sixth win across five venues for the day and took the Hall of Fame trainer to the magical milestone.
It was a memorable day for Waller who also trained the trifecta in the Chelmsford Stakes at Royal Randwick with Mister Sea Wolf beating Yulong Prince and Finche.
Phar Lap connection to Moonee Valley winner
The name of Night Raid, winner of the Atlantic Jewel Stakes at Moonee Valley on Saturday, will mean something to racing aficionados.
Night Raid was also the name of the English stallion imported to New Zealand in 1924 and best known as the sire of all-time great Phar Lap, winner of 37 of his 51 starts including the 1930 Melbourne Cup.
John Thompson enjoyed big race success with Dreamforce last Saturday.Source:Getty Images
Thompson’s dream start to season
Dreamforce continued trainer John Thompson’s great start to the new season with his tough win in the Tramway Stakes.
Dreamforce is likely to race next in the George Main Stakes en route to the Epsom Handicap.
Thompson also trains boom colt Mamaragan (Run To The Rose) and classy mare Sweet Deal (Sheraco Stakes) who will run at Rosehill Gardens next Saturday.
‘There will be plenty of eyeballs on him’
Trainer David Vandyke is aware Alligator Blood needs to make a statement when he returns in a 1100m quality handicap at Doomben on Saturday.
“I’m sure there will be plenty of eyeballs on Alligator Blood’s race,’’ Vandyke said.
“We are still hoping to get an Everest slot on the way through to the Golden Eagle.’’
Alligator Blood is protecting a perfect first-up record in the 1100m sprint and is expected to get the maximum topweight of 61kg.
“He’s come on nicely since his barrier trial (Sunshine Coast) the other day but it’s hard to say how he is going because he saves his best for raceday,’’ Vandyke said.
Tiz The Law can’t bridge the gap as Authentic holds on to win the Kentucky Derby.Source:AFP
Short-priced favourite beaten in Kentucky Derby
Tiz The Law’s US triple crown bid is over as Authentic gave trainer Bob Baffert a record-equalling sixth Kentucky Derby before a spectator-less Churchill Downs on Sunday.
Authentic, who is owned by SF Bloodstock which is aligned with Henry Field’s SF Bloodstock, led most of the way and joined Justify (2018), American Pharoah (2015), War Emblem (2002), Real Quiet (1998) and Silver Charm (1997) as Baffert-trained winners of America’s most famous race.
Favourite Tiz The Law had won the Belmont Stakes and started the shortest Derby favourite in more three decades but endured a wide run and was unable to bridge the gap on Authentic.
What a farewell! Enable wins again
Champion mare Enable farewelled British racing with a runaway win in the September Stakes at Kempton last Saturday.
Trainer John Gosden confirmed Enable will race next in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on October 4, a race that is expected to be her career swansong as she attempts to be the first to win Europe’s most prestigious race three times.
Prince Of Arran ran third behind Enable and is on target for another Melbourne Cup campaign after finishing third to Cross Counter in 2018 and second behind Vow And Declare last year.
Enable clears out to win the September Stakes.Source:Getty Images
RANDWICK SNAPSHOT with Ron Dufficy
Run of the day
South Australian Gytrash produced the goods running sizzling time on a track that was far from fast last Saturday. He showed that this TAB Everest is far from a one-act affair bydominating late and providing another story to this intriguing race.
Forget they ran
Avilius was in trouble from the time the barrier draw come out last Wednesday. Considering the circumstances his effort was great indicating he is on target for next time.
The black book
Boom filly Hungry Heart may have been beaten first-up in the Furious Stakes but she left the course with her reputation intact. Her sectionals were great and she will come into her own when her distances are increased.
Ride of the day
Josh Parr rode the perfect race on the improving Highway performer Absolute Trust.
Josh balanced him beautifully in a lovely trailing position and from there on in was always in control.
NSW RACING – THE WEEK AHEAD
Today: Kempsey, Wellington
Tomorrow: Queanbeyan, Scone
Wednesday: Canterbury Park
Thursday: Hawkesbury, Ballina
Friday: Goulburn, Tuncurry
Saturday: Rosehill Gardens, Kembla Grange, Griffith, Gunnedah
Sunday: Coffs Harbour, Dubbo
Originally published asThe giant-killer Everest rivals now need to worry about
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