“I personally think it is an extra advantage for us because he gets on so well with the horse.
“I had Nash Rawiller on standby for him, but his manager rang last week and said he was riding Eduardo, so I would have had to find another jockey if Jason didn’t stay in Sydney.
“The good thing now for us is that we have our jockey and know there is going to be speed in the race on Saturday.”
Richards returned to Adelaide last week in the Inglis Everest Gytrash horse float he bought.
“It is not something I ever thought I would have: a horse float with a picture of one of my horses on it,” Richards said.
Fownes believes Classique Legend is world’s best
Hong Kong trainer Caspar Fownes believes he has the best sprinter in the world in Classique Legend and will set about proving it in the next 12 months before the grey returns to defend his Everest crown.
Fownes has taken over the preparation of Classique Legend, who will leave Australia on November 9 after spending time in quarantine in Melbourne.
The final tick of approval for Classique Legend came on Friday as he passed the vet check for Hong Kong.
“You never know what they might find with those checks and X-rays, so I was relieved when we got the all-clear,” Fownes said.
“He went a bit of evens as part of the process but other than that he is just going to tick over until we get him here to Hong Kong.
“He was amazing the other day in The Everest, he looked like the best sprinter in the world, the way he did it.
“I just want to get him here and get him to settle in and if he does I think he will be very hard to beat in the Hong Kong International Sprint [on December 13].
“There is a very good sprinter from Japan [Gran Alegria, who won the Sprinters Stakes] if he comes it will be a great race.”
Million Dollar Chase sets new records
The Million Dollar Chase continues to set records in the greyhound world.
Greyhound Racing NSW chief executive Tony Mestrov reported an Australian wagering record for the third Million Dollar Chase, which was run on the eve of The Everest and broadcast to a national audience by the Nine after the Melbourne-Canberra grand final qualifier.
“To reach an audience in excess of one million people is an incredible result for the greyhound racing industry in NSW,” Mestrov said.
“Nine’s coverage of the TAB Million Dollar Chase Grand Final night was outstanding and to see a 400 per cent year-on-year increase of free-to-air audience reach is really significant for us.”
More than $9.4 million was wagered on the Million Dollar Chase meeting, which provided a surprise result as Handsome Prince took the biggest prize in the sport.
“The results of our wagering performance are driving revenue returns that are allowing us to invest in welfare outcomes at unprecedented levels, with a focus on our rehoming programs such as Greyhounds As Pets and the world-first farm stay sanctuary GRNSW is developing in the Hunter Valley,” Mestrov said.
Foreman takes Racing Australia top job
Racing Australia has promoted from within its own ranks with Myles Foreman becoming chief executive of the industry-leading body.
Foreman has been head of operations, overseeing the stud books and racing services centre, for the past decade. He takes a role where he will have to become a peacemaker between the powerful states, NSW and Victoria, with an understanding of the business.
“No industry or sport covers the breadth of our nation like thoroughbred breeding and racing,” Foreman said. “I am determined to continue to leverage the great team at Racing Australia to work collaboratively with the industry nationally to ensure we continue to advance the Australian Thoroughbred Breeding and Racing Industry.”
Parker chases more Gold with Think It Over
Kembla Grange trainer Kerry Parker has already achieved what he wanted with Think It Over this preparation after winning the Craven Plate on Everest day, but hopes to finish the on a high in Saturday’s Rosehill Gold Cup and The Gong.
Think It Over went up 19 benchmark points for his group 3 weight-for-age win, but Parker is not unhappy about it going forward.
“It means he will get into the races we want to get into from now on,” Parker said. “We missed out on the Kingston Town Stakes because he was so low in the benchmark and that meant we went with this plan.
“He has form around horses that ran in the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup, so I think he will be hard to beat on Saturday.
“He will then go out for a week in the paddock and it would be great if he could win The Gong on our home track.”
Racing writer for The Sydney Morning Herald