“I’d rather one than 12,” Redzel’s jockey Kerrin McEvoy said. “It’s the shortest way home. He worked well [on Tuesday] morning and the rain around certainly works in his favour.
“When the gates open, we’ll just have to see what happens to our outside, but we definitely have the speed to take up a forward position if not lead.”
The Everest’s first internationally trained runner US Navy Flag ($9) was the subject of significant bets as he finalises his preparation at Canterbury’s quarantine centre.
“US Navy Flag is the big firmer with the plum draw of three and there was money before the draw for him,” BetEasy’s Matt Tripp said.
“When a popular horse like Redzel draws one he’s always going to be have interest and he’s now an equal favourite with Vega Magic and Trapeze Artist.”
Anthony Freedman’s pair Shoals ($7) and Santa Ana Lane ($8), which quinellad the Premiere Stakes, are the other horses in single figures.
On Trapeze Artist’s barrier six draw, trainer Gerald Ryan said: “[Owner] Bert [Vieira] and I wanted to draw somewhere between four and eight and we drew smack bang in the middle.
“It was absolutely perfect, like his work on Monday morning when he was strong through the line.”
Godolphin import Home Of The Brave, which was to run in the Australian Turf Club slot, was dramatically withdrawn from the race on Tuesday morning with an elevated temperature.
The ATC opted for stablemate Osborne Bulls, which was one of six runners listed as a reserve and was set to run in Sydney Stakes, The Everest consolation race, only hours before Home Of The Brave was taken out of the race.
Osborne Bulls will jump from barrier five. Tommy Berry, who was booked to ride Home Of The Brave, will take the mount on Osborne Bulls.
“It’s fine, a perfect draw,” Osborne Bulls’ trainer James Cummings said.
Racing NSW conducted routine checks on betting patterns on Osborne Bulls, which was the subject of several wagers, on Tuesday morning.
While the news was good for some of the favoured runners, there wasn’t much joy for Newcastle trainer Kris Lees, who will saddle up three runners, In Her Time (barrier eight), Graff (10) and Le Romain (11).
“They don’t look great at the moment, but we’re still four days out and we’ll see how the track plays on Saturday,” Lees said.
Slot-holder Max Whitby was amazed that he again drew barrier 10 with his pick Graff, which will become the first three-year-old colt to run in The Everest.
“We had 10 with Vega last year and only just missed,” he said. “To get it again is not really a kick in the guts because we have a three-year-old colt with no weight on its back that handles wet tracks and we believe he will be very, very hard to beat.”
Randwick is certain to be a rain-affected track when Australia’s richest race is held for the second time on Saturday, but projections for more rainfall later in the week aren’t as bad as first feared.
The rail will be moved back into the true position for the race after being put out six metres last week for the Spring Champion Stakes meeting.
2018 THE EVEREST
1 REDZEL (1) Kerrin McEvoy 58.5
2 SANTA ANA LANE (9) Ben Melham 58.5
3 LE ROMAIN (11) Glyn Schofield 58.5
4 TRAPEZE ARTIST (6) Tye Angland 58.5
5 VEGA MAGIC (7) Damien Oliver 58.5
6 BRAVE SMASH (JPN) (4) Hugh Bowman 58.5
7 HOME OF THE BRAVE scratched 58.5
8 U S NAVY FLAG (USA) (3) Ryan Moore 58.0
9 IN HER TIME (8) Corey Brown 56.5
10 SHOALS (2) Tim Clark 56.5
11 VIDDORA (12) Joe Bowditch 56.5
12 GRAFF (10) Brenton Avdulla 53.0
Emergencies (to be selected by the Slot Holder)
13 CLEARLY INNOCENT 58.5
14 DOTHRAKI 58.5
15 JUNGLE EDGE 58.5
16 PIERATA 58.5
17 OSBORNE BULLS (5) Tommy Berry 58.5
18 SPRIGHT 56.5
Racing writer for The Sydney Morning Herald
Adam Pengilly is a Sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.