Kerrin Mcevoy knows a thing or two about what it takes to win The Everest.
The world-class hoop has an incredible strikerate in the $15 million race, winning three of its four runnings, the first two aboard Redzel and the most recent aboard Classique Legend.
He will again reunite with the Les Bridge-trained grey in the feature sprint at Randwick on Saturday, but this year Classique Legend goes into the race off a very different preparation.
Twelve months ago, he ran in The Everest (1200m) third-up after winning The Shorts and finishing runner-up in the Premiere Stakes.
This time, he will tackle it first-up and without a race under his belt for 10 months.
Bridge originally planned to give him a lead-up run but felt Classique Legend was behind in his fitness so he altered course and gave him three barrier trials instead.
The change of plan doesn’t bother McEvoy, who feels winning The Everest first-up is achievable.
“For the right horse, yes and this horse is dynamic first-up,” McEvoy said.
“In all his preparations, his first-up runs have been high level.
“We know him pretty well to get a handle on where he’s at and I think this horse can achieve it.”
Classique Legend ramped up preparations with a strong barrier trial win over 1050m at Randwick on Friday and will have a final trackwork gallop this week to top him off.
It has been a lengthy battle to get him back to peak fitness after he returned from a failed stint in Hong Kong the worse for wear, but McEvoy believes Bridge has done a tremendous job to adapt his training program.
And he has complete faith in the Hall of Fame trainer.
“When he came back in the stable, Les just had to take his time with him and get him back eating well and putting on weight,” McEvoy said.
“He got back a little bit light after his travel, so it has just been a bit of a different preparation and Les has been changing tack a couple of times but that’s what good trainers do.
“Les has been training longer than me so I’ve been happy to back him in.”