Trainer Anthony Cummings says he believes his Everest runner Libertini has shrugged off the effects of a recent foot problem and will be all ready to go in The Everest on Saturday.
“She had sore feet. It (the problem) took a couple of different shapes along the way,” said Cummings, talking to Sky Racing after the barrier draw. ‘It wasn’t just the one thing at one time, but the reality right now is that we are just about there.
“Today’s gallop was very good. Her recovery was very good and she trotted off afterwards probably the best she has done in a month.
“I think we are where we need to be, both in condition and soundness … which are very key elements obviously if you are trying to win a race like The Everest.
‘She is working lengths better this time around than she was last time around when leading into her first-up run when she beat Classique Legend in last year’s Premiere Stakes. Her work is markedly better now than it was at that point.
“She only needs to bring any one of ten gallops to the races that she has had in the last couple of months to be competitive. It’s funny how things work out, her three public showings have probably been the three least exciting bits of work she has done … one of those, in the trial when Tommy (berry) rode her, was the first time the foot issue showed up at all.
“She ran the half mile in forty-eight this morning on the course proper … and, in doing that, she sort of clocked off at the half furlong, checking out everything. There is a lot to look at out there and typically horses working on their own on the outside of the course proper have a tendency to clock off … and she did that.
“She was still very quick though and, as I’ve said, her recovery was excellent and easily the best recovery from any gallop she has had so far.
“So, in terms of the things you look for and the guides you get, I’ve got all the ones I need to be confident of her going to the races on Saturday and racing well.”
And Cummings’ thoughts on ten opposition?
“I think Gytrash is the one to beat,” said Cummings. “He’s been the one, I think. He was very unlucky first-up behind the two main guys … but, I think Nature Strip and Eduardo nullify its other.
“Eduardo is great in a dog-fight … sure … while the other guy needs things to go in his favour.
“I have to say I think that it is one of Chris Waller’s best efforts ever to get Nature Strip to settle from what he was before to what he is now. It speaks very well for what they do there, and you have to give due respect to that.
“The strength and the depth of the race is that there is no horse there you can put a line through. There is a way for every single one to win … and I can only imagine the ways I need to get there and that is what I focus and concentrate on … but every horse in the field has earned their spot and, really everyone of them will be hard to beat.