The announcements this week of slots in the invitation $14m, The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 19th, means that there are now only two avenues for runners to gain slots to make the field, either through James Harron Bloodstock or the Melbourne Racing Club/Australian Turf Club combined slot.
On Tuesday it was revealed that Godolphin have the slot for the 2019 renewal of the race formerly owned by Damion Flower's Jadeskye Racing and that the Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) had joined forces with the Australian Turf Club (ATC) to hold a three race series at Caulfield culminating in the winner of the $400,000 Group 2 WFA Schillaci Stakes (1100m) on Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Day taking the combined MRC and ATC The Everest slot.
On Wednesday Chris Waller Racing advised that former Western Australian sprinter Enticing Star has been secured to race in the Waller slot.
This leaves international racing operations Godolphin and Coolmore to announce who will race in their respectively slots from their world-wide stables, so James Harron Bloodstock is left as the sole opportunity to gain a secure slot without competing in the MRC’s series at Caulfield.
After this weeks activity there will now be a pause with the Caulfield outcome not certain until October 12th and Harron in no hurry to select their runner.
“We are certainly playing a patient approach this year and obviously there has been a lot of activity, it is a daily thing and it is great to watch and great to keep up with. We are playing a bit of a last month strategy and hopefully it plays out well for us,” said Harron on Sky Sports Radio on Thursday morning.
“I think there are different ways to approach it, I think there is a lot of water to go under the bridge, in terms of timing there are a lot of horses coming back now and starting to trial over the next couple of weeks.
“We have a whole host of lead up races. Looking at the race now we are starting to have a bit more history on it with a couple of years and you can see how well some horses who have run well in lead up races who have not got slots.
“It shows you there are plenty of horses around and around that periphery level that have not got into the race that in my opinion were a top three chance. We are quite comfortable sitting and watching at the minute and watching things unfold.
“You always have to think there is going to be a new kid on the block and maybe a few new kids on the block, we just saw, and while it is not terribly comparable, but there were five three-year-old’s in the July Cup (at Newmarket) and they finished in the first five placings.
“There will always be a changing of the guard of new sprinters, so it certainly could be a year when an up and coming horse will take over the reins and bring new form,” he said.
Harron said that they were not looking for an international runner with the focus on an Australian based sprinter.
“It is not our first preference to be looking over there, but you never say never,” he said.
The interest in the final make up of the field will intensify over the coming weeks. Friday’s trials at Rosehill will see Godolphin’s Alizee and Kiamichi step out along with a number of other stable runners preparing for the spring to complete this week’s Everest news.
The Australian Turf Club host The Everest meeting at Randwick on October 19th, picture ThoroughbredNEWS