Trainer John O’Shea would love to see more options for horses on The Everest trail.
With confirmation this week that Lost And Running will again represent the TAB’s slot in this year’s The Everest, trainer John O’Shea has begun to plot his course towards the spring showpiece.
And it has prompted the respected horseman to wonder aloud whether more races are needed as lead-ins to the $15 million sprint.
He will follow a similar route this time around with O’Shea saying there are few other suitable options, at least in Sydney.
“There aren’t too many other alternatives to be honest, and I think that is something Racing NSW needs to look at is providing a few alternative ways,” O’Shea said.
“Ideally, I would like to see some alternative races on different weekends.
“If you miss those main ones, you are pretty much shot.”
In recent years, The Shorts and Premiere Stakes have both been virtual ‘mini Everests’ where many of the main contenders, particularly the older, male horses, have gone head-to-head before meeting again in the main event.
The options are more expansive for three-year-olds and mares, with Yes Yes Yes finishing runner-up in the Golden Rose (1400m) before capturing the 2019 Everest, while the Sheraco Stakes (1200m) and Golden Pendant (1400m) provide springboards for the females.
O’Shea believes that not having to clash with the seasoned campaigners such as Nature Strip and Eduardo until Everest day should be an option for the emerging male sprinters as well.
“That’s why we have seen some of those mares run well, or three-year-olds run well, where they’ve come through a different program,” he said.
“They’ve had maybe a seasoning run at 1400, which is something you’d like to have as an option as well.”
Programming aside, O’Shea is delighted to have Lost And Running locked in for an Everest start and is hoping he can improve on last year’s performance and compete for a top-three finish.
He is also hoping to have the promising Waihaha Falls in the Everest consolation, the Sydney Stakes (1200m), on the same day.
“We have put him in the paddock and he can come back for the Sydney Stakes if he gets a run,” O’Shea said.