The worlds “richest race on turf”, The Everest will be run this Saturday at Royal Randwick over 1200 metres. Over the coming days, the Palmerbet team will profile all 12 Everest contenders to help you find the winner of Australia’s richest race.

READ PART 2 HERE

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3. Le Romain (11)

T: Kris Lees / J: Glyn Schofield (58.5kg)

The Form

Le Romain has had a mixed preparation this time in, capitalising on a perfect ride when carrying 61kg first up, to win the Group 3 Show County Quality over the same distance and track as this week’s Everest. He followed that up with a tough run in the Group 2 Tramway second up and faded. Le Romain has proven himself more than capable on heavy ground, with two wins and three minors from six attempts. His most recent run in the Group 1 George Main Stakes was full of merit beaten only by Winx (below).

The Connections

One of three runners in the Everest for the in form Newcastle based trainer Kris Lees. So far this season, Lees has had over 200 starters with an impressive winning strike rate of 20% and a place strike rate of 50%. Glyn Schofield rides the three time Group 1 winning gelding, having won on him twice in the past. One of those victories was in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes in the Autumn of 2017 where Le Romain defeated the recently retired Chautauqua. Schofield has been in good recent form, piloting the Godolphin trained import Avilius to victory in the Group 3 Bart Cummings last weekend at Flemington.

The Map

The barrier draw was not kind to connections of Le Romain. From the number 11 gate he runs the risk of being posted deep in the run. He will need to be close to the speed to feature in the finish. The first 200 metres will be crucial for Glyn Schofield and Le Romain.

Prediction – 1st – 4th

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12. Graff (10)

T: Kris Lees / J: Brenton Avdulla (53kg)

The Form

The Star Witness Colt burst onto the scene winning his first three starts earlier this year. Since then he was unlucky to be defeated in the Group 2 Run to the Rose when caught three deep the trip, and followed that run up with a third placing in the Group 1 Golden Rose behind The Autumn Sun. His win three starts back in the Group 3 San Domenico (below) was dominant. Graff should have finished closer to The Autumn Sun in the Golden Rose and any The Autumn Sun form is excellent form. He will be able to handle the wet track conditions and Brenton Avdulla onboard is a big bonus. He looks a genuine threat with luck in running. While he meets better quality opposition here, he has a substantial pull in the weights with at least 3.5 kilograms on his rivals.

The Connections

Sydney Premiership winning jockey Brenton Avdulla takes the ride in a positive riding change. It is worth noting that the Avdulla/Lees combination have a 25% win strike rate over the last 12 months from more than 60 rides. Avdulla has been in great form after a short stint in Japan, with a 20 winners from his last 100 rides including recent big race success on another Kris Lees trained horse, Smart Melody.

The Map

Drawn wide, it is likely that Graff will try to slot into the running line, settling towards the rear. Avdulla will look to get onto the back of one of his rivals to get a cart into the race when making his run. With the pull in weights he should be able to pick up late in the heavy conditions.

Prediction – 5th – 8th

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17. Osborne Bulls (5)

T: James Cummings / J: Tommy Berry (58.5kg)

The Form

Osborne Bulls comes into the Everest to replace Godolphin stablemate Home of The Brave who has been scratched. The 5-year-old gelding has a formidable record win 8 wins and 3 minor placings from 12 career starts including a perfect 2 from 2 on soft ground. Osborne Bulls enjoys his runs spaced, and was just over a length behind the winners in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke last start. Prior to the Sir Rupert Clarke he reeled in the field comfortably from the rear in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (below).

The Connections

Tommy Berry will have a rare ride for the Godolphin stable, and while they do not combine regularly, their most recent 5 runners have brought 2 winners and 2 minor placegetters. The Godolphin racing team of which Cummings is the Australian head, has been in terrific recent form. Stable stalwart Hartnell won the Group 1 Epsom Handicap carrying 59kg a fortnight ago, while imported stayer Avilius booked his spot in the Melbourne Cup with an impressive win in the Group 3 Bart Cummings last weekend.  Tommy Berry is no stranger to the big occasion either, partnering the recently retired Chautauqua to multiple Group 1 victories.

The Map

Tommy Berry will settle at the rear of the field before attempting to weave a passage through late. The 1200 metres may be a little short at this stage of his preparation, but with a heavy track and good early speed, Osborne Bulls could surprise in the Everest. Expect him to finish strongly.

Prediction – 9th-12th

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11. Viddora (12)

T: Lloyd Kennewell / J: Joe Bowditch (56.5kg)

The Form

Viddora was an impressive winner of the Group 1 Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley over 1000 metres under lights last start. While Viddora has no heavy track form, she has won twice in soft going and the stable are expecting her to handle the track conditions on Saturday. Form analysts are tipping that if Viddora can replicate her Moir Stakes rating she an cause an upset in the Everest.t is hard to fault Viddora’s form heading into the Everest after her dominant Moir Stakes win (below). The fact that she has never raced on a heavy track is a concern. It will be her first run in Sydney and from the wide gate, the challenge may be too much.

The Connections

This will be trainer Lloyd Kennewell’s first ever Sydney starter, and his stable jockey Joe Bowditch will take the ride. Bowditch has ridden the mare to six victories including her two Group 1 wins in the Moir and Winterbottom Stakes.. From close to 150 rides in the last 12 months, the Kennewell/Bowditch combination have had 24 wins with an average win price of close to $5.50. Viddorra has taken both the trainer and jockey on a fantastic journey thus far, and a win would be a fairytale.

The Map

The wide gate will mean that Joe Bowditch will have no option but to drift back in the run and look to finish strongly. This is Viddora’s natural racing pattern and the challenge will be for her to finish over the top of her rivals.

Prediction – 9th-12th

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