Arguably the best three-year-old filly in Australia ‘Shoals’ has secured a spot in the world’s richest turf race The Everest at Royal Randwick on October 13 with The Star Entertainment Group’s slot.
Shoals, with Group 1 victories in three states and prizemoney earnings of more than $2 million, will contest the 1200m weight-for-age sprint that is now the jewel of Sydney Spring Racing.
Launched last year as a ground-breaking $10 million race, The Everest in 2018 will have an even more staggering prizemoney pool of $13 million, well above the $7.3 million on offer for the Melbourne Cup.
Shoals will be The Star’s runner in The Everest’s elite 12-horse field following discussions between the ASX Top 100 listed company and Arrowfield Stud chairman John Messara.
“Like The Everest, The Star offers a premium entertainment experience for visitors to Sydney, and with three Group 1 victories on her record, Shoals has the kind of star power that can light up Royal Randwick,” said Messara.
Trained by Anthony Freedman for owner-breeders Messara and Jonathan Munz, Shoals has had a stellar three-year-old season, winning the Myer Classic in Melbourne, the Surround Stakes in Sydney and completing a Group One hat-trick with the Robert Sangster Stakes in Adelaide.
Unbeaten in three starts as a two-year-old, Shoals has now become one of only five horses to win three or more Australian Group One races in the current 2017-18 season.
Winx has won six. Shoals, Happy Clapper, Santa Ana Lane and Trapeze Artist have secured three apiece.
“Jonathan and I are delighted to conclude an arrangement with The Star for Shoals to run in The Everest,” Messara said.
“We think she is a great chance to win the race and we’re all looking forward to her return in the Spring.”
The Star was an original slot owner for The Everest and continues to support the unique concept behind the race, won in its inaugural year by Redzel, a son of the Arrowfield-based Champion Sire Snitzel.
“We’re excited to be fielding a runner this year in partnership with Arrowfield’s John Messara,” said Michael Hodgson, GM Business Development and Partnerships at The Star Entertainment Group.
“He’s one of the most knowledgeable and esteemed racing men in the world, and in Shoals we believe we have an outstanding filly capable of claiming the event.”
Hodgson said The Star Entertainment Group was committed to delivering thrilling experiences to its domestic and international guests.
“The Everest is certainly aligned to that promise,” he added.
“It also provides an opportunity to bring VIP guests from around the world to Australia to participate in an event unlike any other.
“There is no doubt The Everest, after successfully launching last year, is the new summit of thoroughbred racing and the star attraction for the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival.
“We were excited to be involved in year one and delighted to be back for the second iteration.”