Giga Kick, the TAB.com.au $4.50 favourite for the $20m, TAB Everest (1200m), is out of the invitation race at Randwick on October 14th due to a torn gluteal muscle suffered in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes at The Valley on September 9th.
The withdrawal of the 2022 winner of The Everest leaves not only the Clayton Douglas trained four-year-old out of the race but jockey James McDonald without a ride after Craig Williams was taken off Giga Kick after the McEwen Stakes and replaced by McDonald.
Joe Pride's Think About It is the new favourite at $4.20 for The Everest after firming from opening at $7.00 into $5.00 and then into the $4.20 after Giga Kick's withdrawal.
Think About It, one of two runners for Pride in the race with Private Eye also gaining a slot, was a duel Group 1 winner of the Kingsford-Smith Cup over 1300m and the Stradbroke Handicap over 1400m at Eagle Farm over the 2022 Queensland Winter Carnival.
Giga Kick was placed under a possible injury cloud on Wednesday after news that the Scissor Kick gelding would not run in the Everest lead-up race of the $1m, Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick next week.
After winning the Group 1 All Aged Stakes over 1400m at Randwick on April 15th and the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 over 1200m at Doomben on May 13th, Giga Kick resumed with a third in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes over 1000m at The Valley on September 9th after starting as the $1.95 favourite.
Williams was taken off the planned rides at Randwick as a result of the placing and replaced by McDonald who was free after the retirement of Nature Strip. However, Williams immediately bounced back from the dismissal with two winning rides at Flemington last Saturday. McDonald has been out of race riding with a foot injury and he returns next week and now searching for a new ride in The Everest.
The current slot holders for The Everest after the withdrawal of Giga Kick are as follows - Giga Kick was to run in the James Harron Bloodstock slot:
Slot Holder – Runner
Aquis Farm – Sunshine In Paris
Australian Turf Club/RAM Racing – Overpass
Max Whitby & Neil Werrett – Private Eye
Newgate & GPI Racing – Think About It
TAB – Buenos Noches
The Star & Arrowfield – Mazu
Trackside Media – I Wish I Win
Chris Waller Racing – TBA
Coolmore – TBA
Godolphin – TBA
James Harron Bloodstock – TBA
Yulong Investments – TBA
Giga Kick and Craig Williams winning the 2022 TAB The Everest at Randwick, picture Stevehart.com.au
Trainer Clayton Douglas has notified Racing NSW Stewards that Giga Kick will not contest The Everest on 14 October 2023 and will be spelled.— Racing NSW (@racing_nsw) September 23, 2023
Mr Douglas advised that subsequent to Giga Kick’s first up run on 9 September 2023, it had been identified that the horse had sustained an…