By Ray Hickson
There’s nothing like a Group 1 double on one of the Sydney spring’s signature days to give a jockey a kick along and Regan Bayliss is now eyeing the two biggest prizes – the TAB Everest and Golden Eagle.
Bayliss was on Sunday confirmed as the rider of The Inferno in the $15m TAB Everest (1200m) on October 16 and he’ll retain his Epsom winning ride on Private Eye in the $7.5m Golden Eagle (1500m) two weeks later.
While the 24-year-old was in the mix for the ride on Cliff Brown’s sprinter he’s certain his back-to-back Group 1 wins on Never Been Kissed (Flight) and Private Eye (Epsom) got him over the line.
“That’s another positive to come out of Saturday’s results and hope it can keep flowing from there,’’ Bayliss said.
It’s easy to forget that Bayliss has ridden in two of the four TAB Everests so far – he partnered Redkirk Warrior in the inaugural edition in 2017 and Libertini last year.
He said The Inferno, who runs in the James Harron Bloodstock slot, appeals to him as an ideal type for what is shaping as another fast run TAB Everest. The last start Moir Stakes runner-up is a $17 chance in TAB’s all-in market.
“I’ve had the experience of riding in the race and I really like The Inferno going into it,’’ he said.
“He brings a bit of a different formline and looking at his form he’s only lightly raced.
“He’s won up to a mile before so he’s going to handle that high pressure six furlong race at Randwick no problem. It enhances his chances, and he’ll be sitting there minding his own business. If we can get him in a good rhythm he’ll show that turn of foot we’ve seen.”
The TAB Everest picture changed after Saturday’s Premiere Stakes where Masked Crusader showed he is on track but after beating just one horse home Rothfire is out of the race for the second year running.
The four-year-old was reported to have a minor issue with his near fore fetlock and trainer Robert Heathcote decided his Everest mission was over, leaving slot holder James Kennedy to selected another horse.
And Tim Clark, who was to have ridden Rothfire, is now the rider of Wild Ruler in the TAB Everest.
Meanwhile, Bayliss is likely to be back in the Group 1 action this weekend with Flight Stakes winner Never Been Kissed a good chance to back up in the Group 1 Spring Champion Stakes (2000m).
It’s a double Metropolitan winner Montefilia achieved in 2020 and Bayliss said there’s no reason why she wouldn’t be competitive.
“The track played very even on Saturday, she drew a lovely barrier and we were able to utilise that,’’ he said.
“She held them at bay and kept galloping through the line. I expect if she can back up 2000m wouldn’t pose a threat.”