By Ray Hickson
The theme of Gytrash’s second shot at the TAB Everest is unfinished business.
Both trainer Gordon Richards and Inglis Managing Director Mark Webster used those two words to describe what their renewed pairing for the $15 million sprint pinnacle, run at Randwick on October 16, is all about.
It was confirmed on Friday that Inglis and Gytrash are teaming up again for 2021 and Richards is confident his star can go two better than his third placing last year.
“I think the horse is still the same horse, we got so close last year and we need to finish it off,’’ Richards said.
“We think we have got a bit of unfinished business. Arthur (Inglis) and Mark and all the guys at Inglis were fantastic to us and the ownership group.
“The owners were rapt to be picked up by Inglis because we had a fantastic time.”
Four horses have now been snapped up by slot holders, plus defending champ Classique Legend whose owner Bon Ho has his own slot, with Gytrash joining Nature Strip (Chris Waller Racing), Masked Crusader (Max Whitby & Neil Werrett) and Lost And Running (TAB) in the field.
Gytrash was an honourary Sydneysider in 2020 as Richards set up camp with Clare Cunningham at Warwick Farm for his assault on the nation’s richest race and that partnership will again be important to his chances.
He was ridden by Cunningham’s partner Jason Collett in his three spring starts, that relationship continued in his recent runs in Adelaide and Brisbane and into a second Everest campaign.
The South Australian sprinter knocked over Nature Strip to win the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) first-up last spring before running third in the Everest behind Classique Legend.
He stayed around for the $1m Yes Yes Yes Stakes (1300m) and took home the prize, plus a bonus for running that race and in the Everest.
The gelding required surgery for bone chips after his spring campaign and while he was beaten in two runs in the late autumn, finishing third in the Group 1 Goodwood and 12th after a wide run in the Group 1 Kingsford Smith Stakes, it was a preparation the trainer said he had to have.
“I didn’t want to go 12 months without a run,’’ he said.
“We could have but it’s a long time for a horse, I know he’s not old but he’s rising six, without doing something with him.
“It wasn’t a really good prep. It was pretty quick into the Goodwood and while it was a pretty good urn it favoured those on the rail and he was out in the bunch out in the middle.
“They waved the Kingsford Smith race under our nose, we probably got a bit greedy and went up there and things didn’t work out for him either.
“We can start afresh now in Sydney.”
Gytrash, $15 in TAB’s all-in Everest market, is spelling at Hawkesbury and he will spend some time at Aquagait at Menangle before heading to Warwick Farm to begin his build up to the Everest.
Richards said the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) on September 18 would be the horse’s first-up run then he’ll tackle the TAB Everest a month later second-up.
Inglis Managing Director Mark Webster said Gytrash is a proven top class sprinter and after having such a positive experience in 2020 there was every reason to renew the association for another year.
‘We were thrilled to team up with Gytrash last year and of course he did the company proud running third and winning the Yes Yes Yes Stakes shortly after the Everest,’’ he said.
“We really do believe there’s unfinished business with this horse.
“We’re even more proud as we look at the Everest field as it stands today, the five horses that are locked in (Nature Strip, Masked Crusader, Lost And Running, Classique Legend and Gytrash) are all Inglis graduates.”