With rising star Think About It on an eight-race winning streak and Private Eye back to his brilliant best, trainer Joe Pride has his best opportunity yet to win The Everest at Randwick.
Pride is set to saddle up two of the favoured runners in Saturday’s $20million The Everest over 1200m, having gone close with Eduardo – third in 2021 – and runner-up Private Eye last year.
“That tells you I’m on the right pathway,” Pride said.
“To state the obvious, it would be nice to win but this does look, on paper, to be our best opportunity. So hopefully we can make it count.”
Think About It and Private Eye have both won recent Randwick lead-up races, with the latter returning after a winless autumn campaign to secure an Everest slot again after taking out The Shorts last month.
Think About It resumed two weeks later in the Premiere Stakes and made it 10 wins from 11 career starts.
Pride said the pair had perfect preparations for Australia’s richest thoroughbred race.
“The proof of that is going to be in how they perform on Saturday, but it’s gone to plan and I feel like I know both horses well enough to have given them the right lead-ups which they both performed really well in,” he said.
Five-year-old Think About It was a $4.20 favourite on Friday with six-year-old Private Eye at $6.50.
Pride is reluctant to split the stablemates.
“I just think they’re too different for me to compare and I think they’re at very different stages of their careers,” he said.
“I would suggest Private Eye is the one you can count on because of the fact that he’s been there before. And the other horse, I’m still not sure what to expect but history tells you he just keeps winning.
“This is his toughest test but he gives me great confidence because he’s just such a competitor.”
I Wish I Win, winner of the $10 million Golden Eagle and $3 million TJ Smith Stakes in Sydney in the past year, was at $4.60 on Friday and is the one Pride fears most in the 12-horse field.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott stable are one of four stables to have secured two runners into the seventh edition of The Everest and Bott believes Premiere Stakes runner-up Hawaii Five Oh and imported mare Alcohol Free have genuine claims.
“I think there’s a real sense of timing about Hawaii Five Oh,” Bott said.
“We still haven’t seen the best of this horse. He’s lightly raced, he’s progressive. There’s more upside and he’s got a lot of quality and x-factor about him.
“Alcohol Free is an intriguing horse. She brings some incredible form lines from Europe. There’s no doubt Australia hasn’t seen the best of her yet, hopefully they can very shortly.”