By Ray Hickson
Jockey Luke Currie’s excitement level heading towards The TAB Everest went up a notch after he piloted outstanding mare Sunlight to victory in a Randwick trial on Monday.
It was the multiple Group 1 winner’s first public appearance for the new season and she made it look easy taking out the 900m heat in 52.56 under a decent hold.
“I was really happy with her, she wasn’t out to break records and she just had a cruise around,’’ Currie said.
“I was happy with how relaxed she was and it seems like she has matured with a bit of time off.
“I would have been disappointed if she didn’t trial well.’’
Sunlight parked outside the leader Alassio and took over about 200m out before Currie throttled down to win by half a length over Mizzy with Catch Me over a length away in third.
Last week trainer Tony McEvoy confirmed Sunlight would have a second trial in a couple of weeks before resuming in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on September 7 and continuing through the traditional Everest path.
Currie said Sunlight, who races in Max Whitby and Neil Werrett’s Everest slot, had a good blow after Monday’s trial and expects that second trial will be a more serious gallop.
“I’d like to see something similar, she will obviously have a stronger trial, and see her be nice and relaxed and quicken up,’’ he said.
“If I’d have shaken her up today she would have really flattened out and quickened.
“She’s shown in her previous preparations that she has got better the deeper she goes into a prep. She’s not totally wound up and she will race herself into peak shape.’’
Sunlight, $9 in TAB’s market, was the lone Everest contender to trial at Randwick after Chris Waller elected to save star WA mares Arcadia Queen and Enticing Star for Tuesday week’s Rosehill trials and the Les Bridge-trained Classique Legend was also scratched due to a minor nasal discharge.
Currie gave rave reviews for Sunlight’s stablemate Pretty Brazen after she won a 1050m trial.
The filly is headed for the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday week and was given a bit of a test out over the last 200m or so.
Sunlight wins her trial at Randwick on August 12
“I quite like her, she’s still a bit new. She had a fair look around in the straight but there’s a good bit there under the bonnet,’’ Currie said.
Anthony Cummings took out the opening two trials with Baller and Libertini though most discussion centred on Happy Clapper finishing second last behind Baller.
While only beaten 1.7 lengths trainer Pat Webster was a little disappointed with the nine-year-old’s trial but he will still resume in the Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m) on August 24.
Meanwhile out at Hawkesbury, Joe Pride’s evergreen sprinter Ball Of Muscle coasted to a 6.8 length trial victory over 800m against three rivals.
Pride is considering the Concorde Stakes for the nine-year-old’s first-up assignment.
He’s won fresh at his past two preparations, last spring he claimed The Heath 1100m at Caulfield while in the autumn he downed Redzel in the Challenge Stakes (1000m).