By Ray Hickson
Godolphin will be Trekking to Saturday’s TAB Everest with two contenders after confirmation the Schillaci Stakes winner will take up the Melbourne Racing Club’s slot.
The five-year-old’s inclusion completes the 12 horse field to do battle for the $14 million purse and title of Australia’s best sprinter at Royal Randwick.
Trainer James Cummings now has the job of preparing Trekking and triple Group 1 winning mare Alizee for the TAB Everest and he said the gelding bounced through his Caulfield win with style but just wanted to wait before confirming a start.
“While we are conscious of all that, the welfare of the horse is paramount, and we are pleased to report that he recovered well post-race and he is in very good condition this morning,” Cummings said.
Josh Parr, who celebrated a Group 1 win on Shadow Hero in the Spring Champion Stakes, has been booked to partner Trekking while Hugh Bowman rides Alizee.
Kerrin McEvoy rode Trekking into the TAB Everest but he’ll be chasing an historic third win in Australia’s richest race with the Snowden stable and Redzel.
After the Schillaci Stakes win, Cummings said Trekking is the type of horse that will handle the seven day back up and the fact he was set for the ‘win and you’re in’ race says The TAB Everest has always been in the planning.
“He’ll look attractive in the form guide. He’s only second-up today,’’ Cummings said on Saturday.
“We saved him so that he would be second-up in the Schillaci and be ready to go.
“That sort of fitness would help him if we were to consider it but, of course, we have to be really happy with how he pulls up.’’
Given Cummings and the Godolphin team are happy with Trekking, managing director Vin Cox said it’s exciting to have two runners in the TAB Everest.
“As stated straight after the race, we wanted to see how the horse recovered from his race in the Schillaci and assess all aspects of him being asked to run in two, high-pressure races in seven days,” Cox said.
The inclusion of Trekking takes the tally of Group 1 winners in the TAB Everest to 10 with only Classique Legend and the three-year-old Yes Yes Yes yet to win at the top level.
Trekking is a $21 chance in TAB’s market, with Santa Ana Lane favourite at $4.60, ahead of Tuesday’s barrier draw.
Melbourne Racing Club CEO Josh Blanksby said the club is pleased to have Trekking represent them in the TAB Everest.
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The MRC became part of the TAB Everest phenomenon through purchasing the slot owned by the Australian Turf Club and they created a four race series culminating in the Schillaci.
“We knew it would be a big ask, given the seven-day backup, but are happy that Trekking has pulled up well, and know that Godolphin are the team to ensure he goes in to Randwick in the best condition,’’ Blanksby said.
“Next Saturday is going to be a sensational day of racing, and we can’t wait for Melbourne and Sydney racing fans to join us for Caulfield Cup Day and Trekking’s colossal Everest tilt.”