Horse Racing
McEvoy chases fourth Everest on Hong Kong owned Classique Legend

14/10/2021 11:36

This Saturday (16 October) at Randwick Racecourse in the heart of Sydney, Australia, jockey Kerrin McEvoy chases an extraordinary fourth win in just the fifth edition of The Everest (1200m), the world’s richest race on turf with total prize money of AU$15 million (approx. HK$85.67 million).

McEvoy partners defending champion Classique Legend in Sydney’s premier dash, which will be simulcast in Hong Kong along with the AU$5 million (approx. HK$28.56 million) Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne.

The 40-year-old rider, whose first Group 1 win came at just 20 years of age in the Melbourne Cup, won the first and second editions of The Everest aboard Redzel and was, of course, also successful on Classique Legend last year, who is owned by Hong Kong’s Boniface Ho, owner of Southern Legend.

The six-year-old gelding ventured to Hong Kong after that success but failed to acclimatise and was beaten into a weakening 11th place behind Japan’s Danon Smash in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) last December.

The grey has not raced since but has reportedly thrived in his track work and comes into the race following two impressive first-past-the-post efforts in barrier trials at Randwick on 24 September and 8 October.

“He’s a brilliant horse fresh which he will need to be on Saturday. He’s had a different lead-up to the race this year but he’s improved with each of the barrier trials he’s had. The draw (five) is nice. I had a smile to myself when the draw came out, from five we should be able to lob into a good position with some cover,” McEvoy said.

Glen Boss is one of McEvoy’s many rivals hoping to spoil the party. Boss, 52, the only other jockey to win The Everest, partners the Chris Waller trained three-year-old Home Affairs. Boss and Waller combined to win the 2019 edition of the race with the Yes Yes Yes, who at the time was also a three-year-old.

“He’s a big, powerful colt and he won’t be out of place taking on these older horses. I think he’s capable of winning the race,” Boss said of Home Affairs who beat subsequent winner Paulele in the Listed Heritage Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill Racecourse on 25 September.

Home Affairs is drawn in six, alongside Classique Legend. The Waller-trained Nature Strip did not fare well with gate 10 while last year’s third and fourth placegetters Gytrash and Trekking should get their chances from barriers one and four respectively.

Significant rain is forecast for Thursday (14 October) in Sydney with mostly sunny conditions expected on Saturday.