The Everest Power Rankings: Week 4

1. Gytrash
Previous Ranking: 1st
Last Start: September 5, Concorde Stakes (1st)

Commands his position at the top of the ladder. Didn’t just knock off Nature Strip in the Concorde Stakes, he made him look second rate. The clock matched what the eyes were telling us – he scorched around Randwick. The only box left to tick was handling the Sydney way of going – no more queries on that front. So with the scoreboard Vs Nature Strip now reading an emphatic 2 – 0, here is my number one.

2. Nature Strip
Previous Ranking: 3rd
Last Start: September 5, Concorde Stakes (2nd)

Has edged one spot closer during the past week despite not having raced. Had his flag lowered at Randwick when given a decent towelling by Gytrash. But is always vulnerable first-up and looked a touch soft in the enclosure. Chris Waller will have his six-year-old peaking on Grand Final day and he’s still the reigning favourite for the big dance on October 17. Has lost his aura of invincibility but has the potential to bounce back into the number one spot.

3. Rothfire
Previous Ranking: 6th
Last Start: September 12, Run To The Rose (1st)

The big mover in the Power Rankings this week and for good reason. Tackled a red-hot line-up in Saturday’s Run to the Rose (1200m) at Rosehill and came away with a victory and a race record. Robert Heathcote had his star three-year-old ready to rumble and the Queenslander certainly stamped himself as the number one ranked three-year-old sprinter in the country. Charges into the number three spot and is breathing down the neck of the top two.

4. Classique Legend
Previous Ranking: 4th
Last Start: June 6, June Stakes (1st)

It appeared the flashy grey gelding would venture to Hong Kong after his luckless sixth in the 2019 Everest. But a change of heart will see the Les Bridge-trained galloper back to make amends. The ability to settle close to the action combined with a stunning turn of acceleration makes this five-year-old a genuine winning chance. Has looked the goods at the trials and set to resume at Randwick on Saturday in The Shorts (1100m).

5. Bivouac
Previous Ranking: 5th
Last Start: April 18, All Aged Stakes (5th)

Godolphin have their own slot this year and this four-year-old son of Exceed And Excel looks their number one candidate. When he’s on song, he’s something special. The Newmarket win down the Flemington straight was spine-tingling and that’s what he will bring to The Everest. An excitement machine capable of matching it with the best. Looked sharp winning a Randwick trial in slick time on Tuesday morning.

6. Anders
Previous Ranking: 6th
Last Start: August 29, San Domenico Stakes (1st)

Ciaron Maher and David Eustace have made it clear they now have The Everest firmly on their radar with this three-year-old son of Not A Single Doubt. A speed machine, his electric display over 1100-metres at Rosehill in winning the San Domenico Stakes will certainly earn the attention of slot holders. Especially considering he’s now done it on wet and dry ground. Punters will be looking closely at any developments with Anders gaining a slot. Nature Strip might just have some competition on pace.

7. Farnan
Previous Ranking: 2nd
Last Start: September 12, Run To The Rose (5th)

A week can be a short time when it comes to Power Rankings and Farnan slid sharply down the list after a controversial return to racing at Rosehill in the Run to the Rose. Showed blistering speed but folded up quickly in the straight, that just won’t cut it in The Everest. I will be forgiving in that he looked a half run short in the parade ring and Hugh Bowman said after the race that if he had his time again he wouldn’t have pressed the button in crossing and leading Rothfire. The only way to stop the slide will be to bounce back next start.

8. North Pacific
Previous Ranking: 9th
Last Start: September 12, Run To The Rose (3rd)

A cracking type by Brazen Beau and fits the criteria that slot holders will be looking for – a three-year-old on the up. Team Hawkes are planning an assault on the Golden Rose and that form-line produced the winner of last year’s Everest through runner-up Yes Yes Yes. Gave his fellow three-year-olds a thumping in the Up & Coming Stakes then chased right to the line when third behind Rothfire on Saturday. Rothfire is challenging for top spot so this fellow surely remains in the mix.

9. Haut Brion Her
Previous Ranking: Unranked
Last Start: September 12, Sheraco Stakes (1st)

The first of three newcomers into the Power Rankings. Produced an enormous first-up performance to win the Sheraco Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday. Split similar times to Farnan on speed, absorbed that pressure yet still kicked clear to score first-up for 11 months. Trained by Chris Waller which would give slot holders some added confidence and her racing style appears ideal for this year’s Everest. Could trail stablemate Nature Strip and be poised to strike at the business end.

10. Trekking
Previous Ranking: Unranked
Last Start: June 6, Stradbroke Handicap (6th)

With a few of the new kids on the block failing to take that next step, I’ve gone back to a tried and true sprinter. Ran third in The Everest last year and subsequently knocked over Gytrash in the Group 1 Goodwood. Overlooked due to potentially being the Godolphin second seed, but a big run in Saturday’s The Shorts (1100m) and slot holders may just approach the Blue Army to cut a deal. From Godolphin’s point of view – why not?

11. Santa Ana Lane
Previous Ranking: Unranked
Last Start: May 16, The Goodwood (6th)

Has crept into the Power Rankings and has the potential to wreak havoc on some of the young guns. There were concerns we had seen the last of the Freedman-trained eight-year-old, runner-up in last year’s Everest – but he’s back! Blessed with a devastating turn of foot, he is always a genuine winning hope in any race he contests. A frantically-run Everest might just set up for a horse with a booming finish. Trials Friday and set to resume at Flemington on October 3 – so he’ll be a late pick-up if he is to get picked.

12. Catalyst
Previous Ranking: 12th
Last Start: February 29, Australian Guineas (6th)

The big hope for the Kiwis and has been ticking over well since arriving in Sydney. His ding-dong battle with Alligator Blood in the CS Hayes Stakes at Flemington during the autumn was a classic. It stamped the now four-year-old as a potential star. A flop in the Australian Guineas was disappointing, but the ability is there and he looked sharp winning a trial back home. The trainer has made his intentions clear – he wants a crack at The Everest. Now he just needs a slot holder to come up with the right deal. Set to resume in The Shorts (1100m) on Saturday.

Dropping Out: Fasika, Tofane, Alligator Blood

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