Bletchingly a key Everest race

Next month's $150,000 Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield is shaping as a key feeder race for October's $13 million The Everest with former Japanese galloper Danon Liberty to join the likes of Vega Magic in the Group 3 race.

Danon Liberty missed a run in last week's Stradbroke Handicap in Brisbane as the first emergency but his managing part owners confirmed on Wednesday the horse would make his Australian debut in the 1200-metre race on July 28 at Caulfield, where an impressive performance could earn him a call-up for The Everest.

A runner-up in the inaugural running of The Everest last spring, Vega Magic flopped in last month's Goodwood in Adelaide in his first run for 2018 after an injury setback.

His failure prompted co-trainer David Hayes to declare the Bletchingly would be an audition of sorts for Vega Magic to attract the eye of a slot-holder.

"If we knock Vega Magic over, I'm tipping they'll find a (Everest) spot for us," Jamie Lovett of Australian Bloodstock said of their latest Japanese import.

"I am not concerned about him as with regards to class it's just what his most effective distance range is.

"With Brave Smash and even Tosen Stardom, their (Japanese) form was at a mile and 2000 metres but trained our way, they can sprint and run times that a lot of our horses can't run so I won't be shocked if he showed up at 1200 metres that's for sure."

Australian Bloodstock already has last year's Everest's third-placegetter Brave Smash locked in for another shot at the country's richest race and Lovett said that would allow trainer Darren Weir to time the five-year-old's run into the race.

Last year, Brave Smash earned an Everest call-up after three searching runs in Melbourne and Lovett said the horse would go into the race a little fresher this year with just two lead-up runs planned for the sprinter after he was chosen by slot-holder Chris Waller Racing as its Everest contender.

One horse unlikely to be Everest-bound is the star filly Sunlight.

The daughter of Zoustar thrived on a heavy workload as a juvenile but her trainer Tony McEvoy regards The Everest as being an unrealistic goal for the multi-million dollar stakes earner.

Sunlight won five of her seven starts as a juvenile across three campaigns - netting her owners $2.165 million in stakes - but McEvoy said on Wednesday that despite her fighting qualities, he considers The Everest is not a spring three-year-old's race.

"It comes up very early in the spring and look, it hasn't been discussed as it's probably a bit unrealistic for a new three-year-old to come up so quickly against the older horses," he said.

Sunlight is expected to resume in the G3 Quezette Stakes (1100m) for three-year-old fillies on August 18.


Randwick hosts The Everest on October 13th, picture ThoroughbredNEWS