Trainers Greg Hickman and Kris Lees are almost resigned to their stable stars Pierata and Le Romain being passed over for a start in the $13 million The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 13th by the three remaining slot holders still looking for a suitable horse.
Hickman and Lees have drawn up alternative programs for Pierata and Le Romain with the pair set to clash over 1400m at Randwick on September 1 in the $200,000, Group 2 Tramway Stakes.
Hickman then plans to direct Pierata to Melbourne if an Everest offer is not forthcoming while Lees has other Sydney options for his triple G1 winner Le Romain.
Lees said no Everest interest had been shown in Le Romain despite his impressive win last Saturday’s G3 Show County Quality over the Everest distance of 1200m at Randwick.
Lees said Le Romain was likely to run next in the G2 Tramway but also has the $200,000, Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill a week later as another option.
Under the set weights and penalties conditions of the Tramway, Le Romain would carry 59kg - 2kg less than he had in the Show County.
The Theo Marks is run under Quality conditions with a 61kg maximum topweight.
Le Romain and James McDonald winning at Randwick on Saturday, picture Stevehart.com.au
Pierata was in sparkling form at Rosehill on Monday when he won a barrier trial over 875m by 2.3 lengths from the classy Melbourne mare Formality with James McDonald in the saddle.
McDonald teamed with Pierata for the first time when the 4YO beat Kementari first-up in the G2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on August 4, extending his record to five wins in 11 starts.
“Pierata has his next run in the Tramway and if there is no Everest interest he will then be going to Melbourne,” Hickman said.
The race Hickman has his eye on in Melbourne is the $500,000 Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 22.
“He’ll go down for the Group 1 over 1400m at Caulfield and then we will look at races over 1600m like the Toorak Handicap,” Hickman said.
The ATC, Greg Ingham’s GPI Racing and partners Max Whitby and Neil Werret are the three Everest slot holders yet to confirm horses to run for them in the 1200m sprint at Randwick on October 13.
They still have some six weeks to finalise a deal.
The horses already named as Everest runners for the following slot holders are:-
BRAVE SMASH - Chris Waller Racing (trainer - Darren Weir)
ENGLISH - Damion Flower (Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott)
IN HER TIME - Tabcorp (Benjamin Smith)
REDZEL - Yulong Investments (Peter and Paul Snowden)
SANTA ANA LANE - Inglis (Anthony Freedman)
SHOALS - Star Entertainment Group (Anthony Freedman)
TRAPEZE ARTIST – Aquis Farm (Gerald Ryan)
U S NAVY FLAG - Coolmore (Aiden O’Brien)
VEGA MAGIC – James Harron Bloodstock (Lindsay Park)