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The Everest will be the world’s richest horse race on turf when it takes place at Randwick in Sydney on Saturday 14 October and there are two gallopers – one at short odds and one at long odds – that appeal as betting propositions.
The ownership group of Chautauqua has purchased one of The Everest slots so, if the grey gelding is fit and ready for the event over 1,200 metres six months from now, he will have no trouble getting into the field. Many horse racing pundits thought that Chautauqua was a spent force after he failed to fire in Australia’s spring of 2016 but he proved his doubters wrong when he ran over the top of his 14 TJ Smith Stakes rivals over Randwick’s six furlongs earlier this month – he was last with 400m remaining but he went into overdrive to beat English by 0.2 lengths. The Team Hawkes training partnership had campaigned Chautauqua in 1,300m and 1,500m races – he was no match for Winx in the latter – before it switched him back to 1,200m and, in the words of Sydney commentator Darren Flindell, went boom.
According to the World’s Best Racehorse Rankings, which is updated every month these days, Chautauqua’s mark of 122 puts him two points ahead of the next best sprinter, the 120-rated Mr Stunning, which is based in Hong Kong. Winx could run in The Everest but it is highly unlikely because her connections are targeting a third WS Cox Plate victory in a row and that 2,040m event at Moonee Valley in Melbourne is scheduled for two weeks after the Randwick spectacular. So, as it stands, Chautauqua is a worthy favourite for The Everest at odds of 6/1 7.00 +600 6.00 6.00 -0.17 with Betfair and Paddy Power.
If one thinks that Chautauqua is overpriced at odds of 6/1 7.00 +600 6.00 6.00 -0.17 to win the first edition of The Everest then one must rate Takedown as representing value at odds of 66/1 67.00 +6600 66.00 66.00 -0.02 with SkyBet. Takedown’s trainer, Gary Moore, has said that he is aiming the bay gelding towards The Everest and Randwick’s 1,200m is probably the big boy’s favourite course and distance provided that the track is not rain affected. Takedown’s triumph in the Premiere Stakes on Randwick’s six-furlong layout in October was terrific to both the eye and the clock and, on his next start over 1,200m, he broke his Group One duck by winning the Winterbottom Stakes at Ascot in Perth. Takedown did not lose any admirers when, after losing several lengths out of the barriers in Hong Kong, he finished a close-up sixth in the Sprint.
What has led SkyBet to quote odds of 66/1 67.00 +6600 66.00 66.00 -0.02 about Takedown winning The Everest is how he performed first up in the Hall Mark Stakes last week. Yes, it was a 1,200m race at Randwick but the track was a heavy eight and Takedown did not handle it. One is willing to forget that Takedown ever went round and, if Moore’s pride and joy had stayed at home instead of competing in the Group Three contest, he would be less than half of his current odds. Takedown has the potential to be Australia’s next sprint king and there is no way in the world that he should be odds of 66/1 67.00 +6600 66.00 66.00 -0.02 to win an event that his connections have said is on his 2017 agenda. According to the World’s Best Racehorse Rankings, Takedown rated 115 at the end of 2016 and clearly he has considerable upside.
Chautauqua to win the Everest
Saturday 14th October, 2017
Odds: 6/1 7.00 +600 6.00 6.00 -0.17
Takedown to win the Everest
Saturday 14th October, 2017
Odds: 66/1 67.00 +6600 66.00 66.00 -0.02