Redzel wins The Everest last year to complete a three-peat.
Redzel wins The Everest last year to complete a three-peat.

Sprint hits overdrive button for Everest slots

THE jockeying for slots in the $14 million The Everest is getting tight - and there are still five months to go until the world's richest turf race.

Only nine Everest starting positions remain after slot-holders snapped up the world's highest-rated sprinter Santa Ana Lane, All Aged Stakes winner Pierata and crack three-year-old Classique Legend.

But the sprinting talent pool is so deep there are simply not enough slots to accommodate them all.

A slot-holder will surely give Redzel his opportunity for an Everest three-peat and Osborne Bulls, last year's Everest minor placegetter and a five-time Group 1 runner-up this autumn, commands a start.

Sydney's premier trainer Chris Waller has The Galaxy winner ­Nature Strip as a possible for his slot, while another Waller-trained sprinter, rising three-year-old Yes Yes Yes, could be taken by part-owner Coolmore for its slot.

Coolmore brought Irish sprinter US Navy Flag to Sydney for The ­Everest last year and is likely to study results of feature sprints in the northern hemisphere summer before making its move.

Godolphin is also in a strong position because Osborne Bulls, Alizee and Microphone are all being considered by slot-holders.

Santa Ana Lane has secured a slot. Picture: AAP Image/Albert Perez
Santa Ana Lane has secured a slot. Picture: AAP Image/Albert Perez

Blue Point, Godolphin's best northern hemisphere sprinter, can enhance his claims for an Everest start if he wins at Royal Ascot next month.

Trainer Kris Lees is keen for Graff and dual Group 1 winner In Her Time to be given another Everest start after they ran commendably for fifth and seventh respectively last year.

Doncaster Mile winner Brutal and triple Group 1-winning filly Sunlight are attracting slot-holder interest, raising the possibility they could start in the world's two richest turf races, The Everest, and $7.5 million Golden Eagle next spring.

Brilliant Queensland three-year-old Zoustyle remains unbeaten after six starts and is on the radar of Everest slot-holders after a dominant comeback win at Doomben on Saturday.

The Australian Turf Club is expected to call for expressions of interest for its Everest slot this week.

It is understood the ATC will consider enticing the connections of an international sprinter to Sydney for The Everest if it fits its profile.

News Corp Australia

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