Bruce not completely sold on ‘remarkable’ race

Australia’s biggest horse racing prize may have won plenty of fans but Bruce McAvaney doesn’t believe its rapid five-year rise is complete.

Bruce McAvaney has praised The Everest as “a stroke of genius” for NSW racing but is still not convinced it can overshadow the Caulfield Cup.

Two of the country’s biggest races start within an hour of each other with the 1200m Everest at Randwick at 4.15pm AEDT followed by the 142-year old 2400m Caulfield Cup will be run an hour later at 5.15pm.

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Speaking on SEN Breakfast on Friday morning, McAvaney charted the incredible rise of The Everest and said it was a “remarkable” rise for the event ahead of its fifth running.

“It’s Sydney’s biggest race and that’s saying something because they’ve had the Golden Slipper and the Doncaster, they’re the two biggest races, and the Queen Elizabeth has grown as well,” he began. “I think Sydney looked at the fact that in October, there’s no football. This is where it’s racing season. Autumn racing is just as strong but we don’t have the same attention because footy’s just started.

“NSW thought ‘our season finishes at the beginning of October with Epsom handicap, how can we extend it? We can’t create another Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup or Cox Plate, where do we go outside the square’?”

McAvaney lauded the ideas behind the event, including selling slots for the horses and the big money on offer as Australia’s richest race as it’s up to $15m.

Each of the 12 slots costs $600,000 per year and then each slot holder has the right to race, lease, contract or sell the gate.

He called it “a stroke of genius” as the narrative spreads around the slot holders for six months in the lead up to the race.

But the veteran broadcaster wasn’t going to give the day completely to The Everest just yet.

“It has grown to the point where it probably does slightly shade the Caulfield Cup tomorrow,” he said.

“Certainly if you’re living in Sydney, though not for purists like myself. I look at them probably equally tomorrow, but it’s been remarkable. It’s extended Sydney deep into October, it’s changed a lot of other things in the industry and it’s certainly ruffled up Melbourne’s feathers, but I think they’ve responded really well Melbourne. When we look at tomorrow, I think the two races go side-by-side. A Caulfield Cup that’s been going for over 140 years and an Everest that’s been going into its fifth year.”

When does it start?

The 2021 TAB Everest is the seventh race at Royal Randwick on Saturday October 16. The race day has a 10 race program.

The race is the world’s richest thoroughbred race on turf and is scheduled to start at 4.15pm AEDT.

How to watch The 2021 Everest?

Channel 7 will televise the 2021 Everest on free-to-air TV with live coverage starting at midday and covering both Randwick and the Caulfield Cup.

Sky Racing will also broadcast the race.

10,000 fans will also be allowed at the event.

How much prizemoney is on offer?

1st: $6.2 million, 2nd: $2.3 million, 3rd: $1.4 million, 4th: $1 million, 5th: $750,000, 6th: $500,000, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th: $450,000

Who are the favourites?

Just under 24 hours from the event, Nature Strip is the favourite for the 2021 Everest at $3.70 for the win, ahead of Classique Legend at $4.80, Eduardo at $6 and Gytrash at $6.50 according to TAB. Read more about the full field here.

The rest of the horses are outside $10 although the prices are subject to change.

But favouritism isn’t all its cracked up to be in this race. Only 2020 winner Classique Legend has won the race as favourite with Redzel beating 2017 favourite She Will Reign and 2018 favourite Shoals and Yes Yes Yes shutting out favourite Santa Ana Lane in 2019.

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