Morphettville will host a day of celebrations for Gytrash connections on Saturday when the star sprinter will be presented with his 2019/20 SA Horse of the Year Award.
With COVID-19 forcing this year’s awards online, connections have let the dust settle on a brilliant Everest campaign with more than 60 guests set to gather and celebrate his achievements.
“Most of the owners probably haven’t been in a position to win a Horse of the Year Award, or likely to get one again,’’ Richards said.
“So Jackie and TRSA have put it together. It’s mainly the owners and few friends and it will be good to be able to celebrate.
“The whole year has been so good for him and the owners. It’s a nice way to get everyone together. It felt a little but flat being told we had the horse of the year via a phone call. There was nothing anyone could do about that but being able to get everyone together now will be great,’’ he said.
Richards said it will also be nice to be able to sit back and celebrate Gytrash’s year without the pressure of race day.
“They’ll all have a great day, there is no doubt about it. It will be their last hurrah for six months,’’ he laughed.
Gytrash landed the Group 3 Concorde Stakes, a third placing in the world’s richest race on turf in the Everest before winning the Yes Yes Yes Stakes and walking away with a $750,000 bonus in the process.
But while his Sydney campaign was brilliant, his 2021 will look very different as he recovers from an injury set-back following his Yes Yes Yes Stakes win.
Gytrash underwent an operation to remove bone chips in the same knee he injured in 2019.
“He’s good, he’s out at the spelling property now,’’ Richards added.
“The vets suggested giving him six months, we’re quite happy to do that, so he won’t come back until April.
“The probably means missing the Brisbane carnival, we did look at that, but we’ll get him back and give him a couple of trials and it will be more than likely straight back to Sydney and try and get him ready for the Everest next year.
“One thing for sure is he owes us nothing.
Richards said while they’ll be keen to lock away an Everest slot early, the injury setback would no doubt make that a little tougher. But a successful campaign this year gives him plenty of confidence heading back.
“We would like to lock a slot away, but the slot holders will want to see how he comes back. You can’t blame them for that,’’ Richards said.
“We haven’t got a contract with Inglis, but they have first refusal and the way they treated us this time we’d be quite happy to go back there again.
“Given what happened this year, we probably won’t have to go back as early next year. Maybe go up for the Shorts and only have a month between that and Everest,’’ he said.