While the public focus will be on Winx at Randwick, trainer Chris Waller has a host of other horses kicking off spring campaigns including the talented Omei Sword.
Touted as a potential Group One winner when she ran second in the 2016 Golden Rose, Omei Sword missed her chance in the Flight Stakes because of a respiratory ailment.
Her autumn campaign fell apart when she suffered a bleeding attack during her seventh in the Coolmore Classic, meaning an automatic three-month ban from racing.
If Omei Sword doesn’t come up to expectations, Waller will look elsewhere for an Everest runner or maybe trade the slot.
“She is really the only one so if it’s not her we would look at trading the slot,” Waller said.
The trainer said there were risks associated with horses that have bled with a second incident incurring a lifetime ban from racing in Australia.
“There’s not much you can do,” he said.
“You can just give them a spell, let them go back to nature, give them time to recover.
“You’ve got to train them a little bit softer and still make sure they’re fit when they race.”
Waller was confident the Show County was the ideal race to gauge her fitness after two encouraging trials and punters have echoed his belief with Omei Sword the TAB’s $2.30 favourite..
“It’s a perfect starting point. She’s got a nice low weight (53.5kg), she’s drawn well (1) and it’s on a suitable (good) track,” he said.
Although Waller is focused on Omei Sword’s immediate future, the inaugural $10 million Everest (1200m) is a tantalising goal.
“The Everest will be won by emerging stars coming through. Can she be included in that category? Well, she’s got the right credentials,” he said.
“You’d expect her to win on Saturday if The Everest was in our thoughts.”