South Australia will have two runners in the $15 million The Everest at Royal Randwick next month after Behemoth today secured his place in the field.
Grand Syndicates Sam Lyons confirmed that The Star Casino will partner with the SA sprinter in the world’s richest race on turf.
A statement released on Tuesday said that Star was “excited to partner with Grand Syndicates and the owners of Behemoth to run in this year’s Everest”.
“The world’s richest race on turf has made a stunning impact on the sport in Australia and internationally since its inception in 2017,” Star said.
“As a foundation slot holder, we’re looking forward to securing a breakthrough victory next month and Behemoth will be tough to beat after winning both the weight-for-age Memsie Stakes and the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.
“We’re committed to supporting the racing industry and The Everest showcases the long-standing partnership between The Star, the ATC and Racing NSW.”
Behemoth’s Goolwa trainer David Jolly has been riding the crest of a wave with SA’s newest Group 1 star following his second successive Melbourne major in last weekend’s Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
Jolly and Grand Syndicates racing manager Sam Lyons have been in hectic negotiations surrounding the Everest slot.
With his phone running hot since the weekend, Jolly said he was thankful Behemoth is owned by Grand Syndicates, leaving Lyons to take the bulk of the calls surrounding the intricacies of securing a start in The Everest (1200m), to be run on Saturday, October 17.
“I’m pretty thankful he’s owned by Grand and Sam can do a lot of the negotiations surrounding The Everest, otherwise I might have needed a full-time racing manager to deal with it all,” Jolly said.
“It’s been full-on since Saturday. It’s a nice position to be in but it’s a lot, with everything else I need to be worrying about.”
Jolly said Behemoth had returned to SA following his Rupert Clark win – as top weight – in “good order”.
“If anything he’s probably pulled up better from the Rupert Clarke than he did after winning the Memsie,” he said.
“He just seems to be putting it all together now in his races which has no doubt helped him take that step he needed to be winning Group 1 races.”
Meanwhile Jolly, who uses Strathalbyn as an integral part of his training regime, said he was looking forward to getting back there tomorrow for the start of the club’s 2020-21 season and said his best chance could be with Sarnia early in the day.
“She’s been going pretty well and deserves to win a race like this,” Jolly said.
“She’s drawn out wide but I’m not too worried about it. The weather will mean there will be some give in the track and that will suit and drawing out might not be the worst thing.”
Jolly – who trained also trained a double at Morphettville last Saturday – will be hoping his outstanding year can continue with Bella Vella, who he part-owns, when she steps out chasing her second Group 1 win in Friday night's Group 1 Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley for the Will Clarken stable.
IMAGE: John Donegan (Racing Photos)