By Ray Hickson
Bivouac will need to produce his absolute best to topple the best sprinters around in the TAB Everest and Godolphin is backing him to do it in their slot come October 17.
Godolphin’s managing director Vin Cox confirmed Bivouac will line up in the $15m TAB Everest (1200m) and he’ll be assisted by reigning Everest champion jockey Glen Boss.
The four-year-old is clearly the best credentialed sprinter Godolphin has taken to the Everest to date and Cox is confident trainer James Cummings can have him firing for the race.
“He is absolutely scintillating on his day no question,’’ Cox said.
“And we’re getting Glen Boss back on board and reuniting the Newmarket Handicap winning partnership, if we can replicate that on the day I think we will be hard to hold out in the Everest.
“It’s the pinnacle sprint race in the country these days and you need an absolute top performance, your best ever performance, to be winning a race like that.”
So far Godolphin has had three TAB Everest runners – Osborne Bulls ran third in 2018 while last year Trekking also finished third and Alizee, running in Godolphin’s slot, ran seventh.
Bivouac had his first start this spring for a gallant third, after racing wide, behind Classique Legend in the Group 2 Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 19 and is an $11 chance in the Everest with TAB.
Bivouac runs third in the Shorts at Randwick on September 19
“We’re confident he’s up to it, he’s had the figures before and we are very happy with where the horse is at,’’ Cox said.
“It was a really good run, he didn’t shirk it. He had drawn the outside so it was always going to be problematic at his first run back so he was still trading punches with them 50m out.”
Trainer James Cummings has long had plenty of faith in Bivouac’s ability and was also rapt with his first-up effort, telling the Godolphin website he showed his class last season and that fresh performance was evidence he’s close to his top.
“He’s a dominant Group 1 winner of the Newmarket Handicap as a three-year-old, his Golden Rose win last spring set him apart,” Cummings said.
As a two time Group 1 winner at three Bivouac could easily have been retired at the end of last season but there was a sense that he had more to prove on the racecourse.
Of course he defeated 2019 champ Yes Yes Yes in the Group 1 Golden Rose last spring then beat older horses when winning the Newmarket Handicap in the autumn, he also recorded Group 1 placings in the Coolmore Stud Stakes and William Reid.
“He has a very good profile and record already and it is a case of trying to build on that,’’ Cox said.
“An Everest would really cement his place in the sprinting ranks in Australia.”
It’s still possible that Godolphin will have a second TAB Everest runner in 2020 with Trekking, who ran a close second in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) first-up, the subject of interest from remaining slot holders.
Cox said whether Trekking is available and which slot holder will have his services is still to be decided.
“We’ve had a slot this last couple of years and the hard part is picking your own horse,’’ he said.
“From our perspective we wanted to hold back as long as we can and make sure we are happy with the horse we are going forward with.”