By Ray Hickson
It’s no secret that Bryce Heys would love to be a part of The Everest with classy sprinter Spieth and he’s well aware that his return at Randwick on Saturday is something of an audition.
Heys is doing his best not to treat the Group 3 $150,000 Concorde Stakes (1000m) as such but with six weeks remaining until the $10 million feature all eyes will be on how he performs first-up.
Spieth is arguably the best sprinter in Australia not to have won a Group 1 race.
“A horse of his profile and the quality that he is it’s only natural there’s some intrigue and interest in how he returns to the races,’’ Heys said.
“It will be perceived as (an audition) but whether the Everest is there or not I’m focused on getting him back to the races and running well.
“I want to be in it. As it stands now he’s not in it. Hopefully we are in a position where we are talking about being in it on Sunday.’’
Heys said the addition of the Everest, run on October 14, is creating a lot of intrigue not only as a tough race to win but a tough race to get into.
Here’s a trainer who is yet to win a Group 1 race – Spieth has come agonizingly close on two occasions – and has a small team trying to attract the attention of those holding slots in the race.
“The race is such a great addition to the spring. It’s massive and the beauty of it is that participants across the board alike can try to get themselves into a race,’’ Heys said.
“Whether it be the superstar trainer or the rookie trainer like myself who is fortunate enough to have a horse that no doubt has a profile to run really well in the race.’’
Entries for the Concorde include another potential Everest runner in Redzel and the flying Super Too who unofficially set a new course record for the Randwick 1000m on August 19.
Heys said their presence allows him to have a reasonable early guide to how the race is going to be run – fast.
Spieth is a noted first-up performer – last spring he claimed the City Tattersall’s Lightning (1100m) first-up while in the autumn he was a luckless second to Terravista in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes at Flemington.
“The 1000m up the straight is different to 1000m around the corner at Randwick. No matter how fast they go those leaders seem to hold on longer than they do over 1100m or 1200m,’’ he said.
“I’m under the impression that Marc Conners is going to run his horse (Super Too), she really went fast the other day.
“It’s a race tailor made for a horse like Redzel who can highball and that’s the challenge in front of us in terms of the horses that are there.
“But I’m more focused on Spieth and executing that he runs well. He’s going to drop a strong last 600m, he’s in good order to do it, but it is important not to get locked in to what might happen in the race just get the small things right for the first 400m of the race.
“They’re going to go fast. That’s good, just be wary he’s a little vulnerable but I’m really happy to be taking him to the races.’’
Corey Brown has been booked to ride Spieth through the spring and took him through his paces in winning an 800m trial at Warwick Farm on August 14.
Heys said trials are always a conditioning exercise with Spieth but has been encouraged by the way he wanted to jump out and put himself in the trial.