Classique Legend wins The Everest in $15m blockbuster race
After 12 horses battled it out for The Everest, Classique Legend has won the highly-anticipated $15 million race at Randwick.
Bivouac and Gytrash crossed the finish line in second and third respectively, while Trekking came fourth in the sprint.
After a competitive start, Classique Legend stormed ahead in the final 100 metres.
Aussie jockey Kerrin McEvoy has secured his third Everest victory, having previously won two races on Redzel.
“I needed to come back behind Trekking to get a slot and then they went quicker. I just had to ride my race,” McEvoy told Channel 7 after the race.
“I looked up at the 600 and they were well in front, they were off. I thought, ‘Far out, if Nature Strip and the companions are back to their best, they are going to take a bit of running down.’
“Full credit to my horse with that cover and soft time of it early, he was able to really power when I asked him. Soon after I was confident I would pick them up. It was a marvellous job. Thrilled to get the horse over the line.
“It is an unbelievable feeling to win another one.”
Classique Legend manager Carmel Size said: “He is irreplaceable to me. I love him so much. I have been obsessed with him since I laid eyes on him. That is a great horse. We have seen something special today.”
The prize money has been upped to $15 million this year and punters were treated to a show at Sydney’s Royal Randwick.
The Everest was the seventh race of the day in Sydney — click here for a full runner-by-runner preview of The Everest along with tips, odds, expert opinion and betting strategies.
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3rd: She’s All Class
1st: Air Marshal
2nd: Depth That Varies
1st: Purple Sector
3rd: Just Thinkin’
1st: Forbidden Love
RACE 5 — 2.50pm
1st: It’s Me
3rd: Man Of Peace
4th: Handle The Truth
3rd: Signore Fox
4th: Prime Candidate
RACE 7 (The Everest)
1st: Classique Legend
1st: Think It Over
3rd: Vanna Girl
4th: Scarlet Dream
RACE 9 — 5.30pm
RACE 10 — 6.10pm
BOSS KEEPING COOL AHEAD OF WORLD’S RICHEST RACE
Champion jockey Glen Boss will be relying more on instinct and feel rather than race tactics and speed maps when he partners Godolphin sprinter Bivouac in The Everest.
Boss said he doesn’t want to over-complicate the process by trying to work through various race scenarios in his mind, preferring instead to use his natural skills and uncanny ability to adapt to any circumstance, punters.com.au reports.
“Everyone has an idea of how they are going to ride their horse but that can go wrong as soon as they jump,” Boss told The Daily Telegraph soon after riding Golden Slipper hero Farnan to a brilliant barrier trial win at Gosford on Wednesday morning.
“I prefer to be more instinctive and get the feel of the race.”
Boss said he will avoid over-thinking when he rides Bivouac in the world’s richest turf race, and even the barrier draw which has Bivouac starting from gate 10 isn’t a concern to the Hall of Fame rider.
“I have so much faith in this ‘colt’, I know how good he is and I need to ride him accordingly – it’s not that hard,” Boss said.
“For these big races, I don’t do a lot of form as I understand the horses around me.
“With Bivouac, I will go out there to put him into a position where he is comfortable. When the gates open I will make up my mind what will happen.”
Boss knows better than most how to win big races. He’s ridden 91 Group One winners during his illustrious career including three Melbourne Cups, two Golden Slippers, two Cox Plates, and seven Doncasters.
He’s also the defending The Everest champ, having won on crack colt Yes Yes Yes last year.
Boss said he identified two horses months ago as potential The Everest contenders this spring — Bivouac and Farnan.
“During the winter I chased Bivouac and Farnan very hard as my number one picks for The Everest,” he said. “They chose to go with Hughie (Bowman) on Bivouac initially but fortunately it’s worked out that I’m on the horse in The Everest.
“I know what I have underneath me — I wouldn’t swap him to be honest.”
Boss has only had one ride on Bivouac for an outstanding win in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap at Flemington earlier this year.
Bivouac won that race at his second run after a spell and Boss said trainer James Cummings has geared the sprinter for The Everest with one lead-up run this spring — his third to Classique Legend and Eduardo in The Shorts.