Rising four-year-old Menari has become the ninth horse selected to fill a slot in the $13 million The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 13.
Slot holders Max Whitby and Neil Werrett have nominated the Gerald Ryan-trained Menari as their runner, giving the Ryan stable a second Everest starter. Ryan already has triple G1 winner Trapeze Artist in The Everest with that sprinter heading the early betting market.
Menari, who was rated above Trapeze Artist at the start of the season, is set to have two lead up races to The Everest. Ryan said he has Menari programmed to resume in the in the G3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on September 1 before progressing to the G2 Shorts (1100m).
Max Whitby said he and slot partner Neil Werrett had negotiated an Everest deal with with Menari’s owner George Altomonte.
Whitby was represented by Vega Magic in the inaugural Everest last year with that sprinter finishing second to Redzel.
“We were keen to get a fresh, new horse this year and not go back to the well,’’ said Whitby.
“We are confident Menari is the right horse.”
Whitby admitted it was a gamble to commit to Menari before he resumes as the colt has not raced since last September due to several setbacks.
“It would have been great to see him have a run but the Everest is all about taking the opportunities,” Whitby said.
“We took everything into consideration and just had to make the decision. We’re happy about it.’’
Menari has not raced since he finished third behind Trapeze Artist in the G1 Golden Rose (1400m) at Rosehill last September.
Menari is the ninth confirmed runner for The Everest, joining Redzel, In Her Time, Trapeze Artist, Shoals, Santa Ana Lane, Brave Smash, English and US Navy Flag.
Menari, picture Sportpix.com.au