1. Santa Ana Lane
Previous Rank: 1st
Last Start: October 5, Gilgai Stakes (2nd)
His first-up run down the straight in the Gilgai at Flemington, where he savaged the line and was taking ground off Sunlight, indicates he has come back as good as ever. There’s no doubt he will take significant improvement from that outing and he should be spot on for The Everest.
Previous Rank: 2nd
Last Start: September 21, The Shorts (1st)
His victory in The Shorts over Redzel and other leading Everest contenders was outstanding, and his work earlier in the work suggests he is spot on for the $14 million sprint feature. Will be standing them a start, but will get home like a train.
Previous Rank: 4th
Last Start: September 21, The Shorts (3rd)
There’s plenty to like about the old boy; he’s won the first two editions of The Everest, he’s trained by the Snowdens – who are noted for getting their horses to peak on grand final day – and he’s in good form. Rain would certainly enhance his chances.
4. Arcadia Queen
Previous Rank: 5th
Last Start: September 14, Theo Marks Stakes (1st)
Arguably the best horse in the country and could turn out to be the weight-for-age star of the spring. Her first up win in the Theo Marks was outstanding and her trial during the week suggests she has come on.
Previous Rank: Unranked
Last Start: October 5, Premiere Stakes (1st)
Resumed with an impressive first-up victory in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes last weekend against a number of leading Everest candidates. The Doncaster winner has emerged as a late wildcard contender for a remaining slot and would be a force to be reckoned with should he gain a start.
Previous Rank: 8th
Last Start: October 5, Gilgai Stakes (1st)
Performed below expectations when resuming behind Redzel in the Concorde, before an improved run in the Group 1 Moir Stakes at The Valley. The star mare was back to her best out to 1200 metres in the Gilgai down the Flemington straight, leading from barrier to box, and jockey Luke Currie said she had a decent blow after the race and will take great improvement from that run.
7. Classique Legend
Previous Rank: 3rd
Last Start: October 5, Premiere Stakes (3rd)
This talented sprinter has been performing well against a number of Everest contenders this campaign and deserves his place in the field, but will need to go up a gear if he is to be winning.
Previous Rank: 7th
Last Start: August 31, Memsie Stakes (3rd)
With Osborne Bulls set to miss the spring due to lameness in the off foreleg, Godolphin may turn to their star mare to represent them, and should do they go down that path, she won’t let them down. She’s a classy customer and can be effective at 1200m.
Previous Rank: 9th
Last Start: October 5, Premiere Stakes (4th)
Was fifth in last year’s Everest and has competed well against a number of contenders this campaign. Like Classique Legend, he is blessed with talent, but needs to find a length or two to be in the finish.
10. In Her Time
Previous Rank: 10th
Last Start: March 9, Newmarket Handicap (6th)
Another Group 1-winning mare that has class written all over her. She has been trialling well, but the fact she’s not been seen at the races this campaign is a concern.
11. Yes Yes Yes
Previous Rank: Unranked
Last Start: September 28, Golden Rose (2nd)
This quality three-year-old is prepared by Chris Waller, who now has a slot at his disposal with the retirement of Enticing Star. He should be at peak fitness following his run in the Golden Rose, where he was touched off by Bivouac. Won the Todman Stakes over the Randwick 1200m course and would be a worthy contender. Nominated for Saturday’s Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes at Randwick.
12. Nature Strip
Previous Rank: 11th
Last Start: September 28, Moir Stakes (1st)
Arguably the most polarising horse in the country. Unplaced when ridden cold first-up, he notched his second Group 1 success in the Moir Stakes at The Valley last time out when he rode the speed. A question mark hangs over him at 1200 metres.
DROPPING OUT: Enticing Star, Osborne BullsMarket Market