Redzel, with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle, takes out The Everest last year. Picture: Brendan Esposito/AAP
Redzel, with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle, takes out The Everest last year. Picture: Brendan Esposito/AAP

Global interest in Everest sky high

THE racing world is climbing onto The Everest.

So says Henry Field, managing director of leading Hunter Valley stud Newgate Farm, who has been taken aback by the level of global interest in Sydney's glamour sprint while attending this week's Saratoga Sales in New York - one of America's most prestigious thoroughbred yearling auctions.

"The acknowledgment of The Everest is amazing," Field said. "Hand on heart, I have not been asked about another Australian race while I've been over here, not even the Melbourne Cup.''

America's leading trainer, Bob Baffert, who prepared American Pharoah (2015) and Justify (2018) for US Triple Crown glory, was among those wanting to know more about the race.

"There has been unbelievable amount of people talking about The Everest at Saratoga,'' Field said.

Newgate Farm managing director Henry Field.
Newgate Farm managing director Henry Field.

The $13 million The Everest (1200m), the world's richest turf race, will have its second running at Royal Randwick on October 13. It is based on The Pegasus World Cup in Florida, which boasts prizemoney of $US20 million and is run on dirt.

"The Pegasus race is not considered a great success compared to The Everest,'' Field said. "The Pegasus doesn't seem to have built the momentum that The Everest has back home.

"I've been asked how and why Sydney has made The Everest so successful. I just feel The Everest has been executed a lot better by Racing NSW, and the general public is already invested in the race.

"I can tell you a lot of people in world racing are talking about how well administered the sport is in Sydney and how our racing is going from strength to strength.

"But I find it ironic The Everest was set up based on the Pegasus, but now the Americans are looking at our race to get their race right.''

Field pointed out the transparency of Everest slot-holders and said their willingness to discuss selection strategies was polar opposite to the clandestine Pegasus negotiations.

"Racing is a major sport in Australia and the slot holders get more bang for their buck exposure-wise,'' Field said.

"The slot holders and the deals they are making with owners is such an interesting byproduct of The Everest. In America, no one knows who the Pegasus slot holders are.''

Newgate Farm is one of the emerging breeding powers in the southern hemisphere and Field is kicking himself for not buying into the Everest concept at its launch last year.

"I must say I watched very closely the Pegasus for the first six months and I felt they didn't quite get that right,'' Field said.

"Then I foolishly underestimated the drive and enthusiasm of Racing NSW and Peter V'landys to execute The Everest. I'm not too proud to admit I regret not taking a slot.''

Double act to hit the stage at GC

Double act to hit the stage at GC

"The place was packed and it was a really good time,” he said.

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