She Will Reign’s barrier draw for the $10 million Everest is everything trainer Gary Portelli could have hoped for with the favourite to start from barrier two in the 12-horse field.
The Golden Slipper winner added the Group One Moir Stakes to her record late last month and now has the major prize in the world’s richest race on turf at Randwick on Saturday in her sights.
“It’s absolutely sensational. She’s just going to get the best run early and from there on it’s all up to the gods on whether she gets a run through,” Portelli said.
“I’m just hoping she’s just travelling well enough so when there’s a gap available she going well enough to get through it.”
Rival trainer Peter Snowden was also buoyant after the on-pace runner Redzel came up with barrier four on Tuesday for the 1200-metre Everest as was jockey Kerrin McEvoy.
“He’s a horse with good gate speed so we’re going to be somewhere in the front group,” McEvoy said.
Chautauqua’s co-trainer Michael Hawkes picked ball five out of the barrel for the three-time TJ Smith Stakes winner at Tuesday’s draw although the grey will get back in the field as usual.
His jockey Brenton Avdulla is unfazed by Chautauqua’s unplaced runs in The Shorts and Premiere Stakes.
“I’ve followed strict orders on how to ride him in his first two and I’ve been really happy with him. I’ve no doubt he’s a live shot,” he said.
The draw started on a subdued note for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott after English drew the outside alley, although after she drew wide in her previous two starts this preparation Blake Shinn is in familiar territory.
“Obviously we’ll ride her quiet. Hopefully they overdo it in front and we’re the last one of the scene,” Shinn said.
Slot holder Max Whitby was also staying optimistic after selecting barrier 10 for Vega Magic, one of three runners for the Lindsay Park stable.
“What do you? The tactics will have to change a bit and we’ll have to get across.” Whitby said.
Vega Magic’s stablemates Redkirk Warrior and Tulip will jump from barrier three and 11 respectively.
The draw only had minimal impact on the TAB’s market with She Will Reign firming from $4.60 to $4.50. Vega Magic came in to $5.50 ahead of Chautauqua at $6.50 and Redzel at $7 while English drifted from $9 to $11.
Market 💰: View the current Everest odds