She’s not the favourite and she drew the outside barrier but trainer Gai Waterhouse says Everest runner English will make her own luck in the multi-million dollar sprint.
The five-year-old mare will jump from barrier 12 in the inaugural $10 million race over 1200 metres at Randwick.
English came second in the Premiere Stakes (1200m) less than a fortnight ago, finishing in front of three other Everest runners and a short neck behind In Her Time who is an emergency for Saturday’s 12-horse race.
Co-trainer Adrian Bott joined Waterhouse to discuss her chances with the media on Tuesday and said he was confident she could go one better on Saturday for her first spring win.
“I think we’ve got every chance. Last start she put the writing on the wall. She made a big statement with a great performance,” Bott said.
He is aware she will be facing powerhouse geldings in late-surging Chautauqua, and Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Redzel who’s a “good, tough, honest” horse winning his last four starts including The Shorts.
English beat Chautauqua home in The Shorts and Premiere Stakes after finishing second to him in the TJ Smith Stakes in the autumn when she also beat Redzel to win the Challenge Stakes.
Waterhouse says the mare’s feistiness and perfect preparation will get her over the Everest line before them.
“She’s been beaten a few times but she’s come right at the right time,” she said.
“I think she’ll win. She’s tough and she’s rolled up her sleeves for the day and we’ve got her ready.
“Barrier 12 couldn’t be better, I’m telling you, because she’ll be out there and able to make her own luck and that’s what you want. There will be a stack of speed inside of her and it can cart her right into the winning post.”
The trainers agree the mare is in prime condition ahead of the race to claim $5.8 million first prize.
“She’s put on the body weight you want going into a major event. You see her skin, the way it gleams. You see the muscle tone on her, she’ll knock you over. Adrian just had a contest with her in the box,” Waterhouse said.
The Everest will be English’s 20th career start, with four of her five victories on her home turf at Randwick.