By Ray Hickson
In the wake of the retirement of his TAB Everest runner Enticing Star, champion trainer Chris Waller will wait until next week before deciding on a replacement runner in the $14 million race.
It’s widely expected that runner will be last start Group 1 Moir Stakes winner Nature Strip but Waller said in a media statement he wants to let the dust settle.
Enticing Star was retired by owner-breeder Bob Peters on Thursday having assessed the fallout from her lacklustre Sydney debut in last Saturday’s Group 2 Golden Pendant.
“In the best interests of the horse I have decided to retire Enticing Star,’’ Peters told The Races WA.
“The run on Saturday at Rosehill in the Golden Pendant was below par and indicated to me she doesn’t want to be a racehorse.’’
Peters stressed there was no pressure from the Chris Waller Racing syndicate to withdraw Enticing Star from the TAB Everest mix.
The mare had 11 starts for eight wins and a Group 1 second in last year’s Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot.
Her removal from TAB Everest contention leaves Peters with his star four-year-old Arcadia Queen as his sole runner in Australia’s richest race.
Waller said there’s no rush to lock in a replacement.
“We understand the importance of public awareness in relation to a replacement horse to fill our Everest slot,’’ he said.
“With there being some important lead up options this weekend, in both Sydney and Melbourne, my shareholders and I have agreed to wait until after the weekend before considering all options and making a decision next week.
“We will provide an update as soon as a decision has been made on a replacement.’’
Unless the Waller syndicate looks outside his stable for its Everest runner the likely candidates are Nature Strip and Golden Rose runner-up Yes Yes Yes.
Both Nature Strip and Yes Yes Yes are at $15 in the TAB all-in market.