Trainer Tony McEvoy has given Sunlight a pass mark for her first-up run in Sydney en route to her main goal of The Everest.
Sunlight beat one runner home in Saturday’s Concorde Stakes won by Redzel at Randwick with McEvoy saying there were a number of factors that counted against her.
Racing NSW stewards reported Sunlight was slightly lame, graded one out of five, but she got the all-clear on Monday.
McEvoy said the stable could find nothing wrong with Sunlight post-race.
“I got the Racing NSW vets and stewards to come and see her today and they’ve said she’s all-clear, fine,” McEvoy said.
“When they’re full of adrenaline, it’s the worst time to judge a horse.
“She hasn’t left an oat since and is in great order.”
McEvoy said Sunlight’s final 600m, 400m and 200m sectional splits were quicker than what she posted when third first-up in the Lightning Stakes at Flemington in February.
Sunlight subsequently went on to win the Newmarket Handicap at her next outing.
“It’s her best return ever going on sectional times,” McEvoy said.
“The other complicating factors are we’ve never taken her back that far in her life but with what Nature Strip was doing (over-racing) there was no other option but to take her back to second last.
“They quickened up that hard that she got unbalanced and on her wrong leg on straightening and looked to labour for 100 metres and then she started to build.
“It was a horrible leaders track and I know Pierata (2nd) came from back, but he didn’t win.
“All-in-all I think it was a very good return.”
McEvoy is planning for the $14 million Everest at Randwick on October 19 to be the fourth run of Sunlight’s campaign.
The mare drifted from $9 to $15 in The Everest odds following Saturday’s performance.
Santa Ana Lane remains favourite and is expected to resume in The Shorts.