By Ray Hickson
The race is still 11 months away but there’s already been interest from an Everest slot holder in securing Hong Kong’s exciting sprinter Aethero for the 2020 edition on the back of his sizzling Group 2 win at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The half-brother to Classique Legend, who ran sixth in the TAB Everest last month, has already been posted as an $11 chance by TAB and his trainer John Moore told Sky Sports Radio he’s never had a sprinter with more potential.
“I’ve only won an International Sprint with Inspiration (2008) but prior to that I’ve never really had a top sprinter,’’ Moore said.
“This is definitely the best of the best.
“He was carrying a postage stamp and he had worked really well going into the race. If everything went right in running and he jumped cleanly from the blocks I thought he could win.’’
Aethero clocked a remarkable 1:07.58 as he ran away with the Group 2 Jockey Club Sprint (1200m), not far off Sacred Kingdom’s track record, and will be seen next in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint next month.
Moore said in confirming Everest interest in the three-year-old there are several things that would need to be worked out if Aethero was to make the trip.
“I won’t say who but somebody has contacted George (Moore) and said they’d like to give him their space in the Everest next year,’’ he said.
WOW! 💥 What a three-year-old! Aethero wins the Jockey Club Sprint, making a top class field look second rate 😮😮😮 pic.twitter.com/kbUFA6RNvi
— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) November 17, 2019
“Hopefully the Government will change the quarantine restrictions back to two weeks (in Hong Kong) and two weeks (in Sydney).
“But you have to remember I’m looking for somewhere else to train.
“I’d have to speak to the owner, because I wouldn’t be licensed in Hong Kong, whether I could train him in Australia or whatever country and bring him back for the Everest.’’
The son of Sebring, who was sold by Tyreel Stud for $575,000 at the Inglis Easter Sale, is owned in different interests to his half-brother Classique Legend, whose owner purchased a vacant slot to contest the Everest.
Moore, who will soon be forced to retire from Hong Kong when he turns 70, said he will be having interviews and meetings in Australia in the next six months about the possibility of training in either Sydney, Melbourne or the Gold Coast and he’ll also be considering other international options.
Aethero was ridden by Karis Teetan on Sunday while Joao Moriera was on board the gelding in his second-up win a month ago.
Zac Purton has been the rider in his four other starts, he’s expected to take over in the Hong Kong Sprint and the HK based Aussie leaves no doubt what he thinks of the horse.
“Aerovelocity has been the benchmark for me up to now, he won two HK Sprints as well as winning in Japan and Singapore but he was not as naturally gifted as this fellow,’’ Purton said on Sky Sports Radio.
“He floats across the ground like a butterfly, he could be anything.’’
Reigning TAB Everest hero Yes Yes Yes and Golden Rose winner Bivouac share top billing with TAB at $8 with 11 months until the next running of Australia’s richest race.