Think About It has continued his stunning rise in Australian racing on the biggest stage after beating a host of the country’s best thoroughbred sprinters in the $20 million The Everest.
Saturday’s 1200m showpiece at Randwick also proved a training triumph for Warwick Farm-based Joe Pride, who celebrated the biggest success of his career when $4.40 favourite Think About It extended his current winning streak to nine races with a brilliant victory in the world’s richest race on turf.
Pride also prepared the third placegetter Private Eye who was having his second crack at The Everest after finishing runner-up 12 months earlier.
Under jockey Sam Clipperton, Think About It enjoyed a dream run just behind the leaders before making his winning run in the home straight.
Second favourite I Wish I Win burst through between runners late but Think About it prevailed by a long neck with Private Eye close behind in third.
Pride has won 17 Group One races in a training career spanning just over two decades, but said, “That’s the big one, that’s the one we wanted to tick off”.
“I don’t think I’ll feel pressure anymore in any race after that,” Pride added.
“You feel like Edmund Hillary – once you’ve climbed Mount Everest, what do you do after that?
“I’d love to climb it again, but it’s not going to feel as hard next time.”
Pride said he was convinced the Peter Moody and Katherine Coleman-trained I Wish I Win was the main danger to his stable’s pair and that’s the way it played out in front of a crowd of 46,498.
The trainer called the Everest victory the “culmination of a lot of hard work”.
“I’m my own harshest critic,” he said.
“But I’d like to think people will remember me as a very good trainer who always looked after his horses, had them paramount, and was capable of winning the biggest race on the calendar with a horse that didn’t cost a lot of money.”
The “tenacious” five-year-old Think About It has now won 11 of his 12 starts, including two Group Ones and The Everest.
“There’s not much about him physically to say that he’s better than the rest but he’s just got a great motor, clearly. A V8 engine and a mind to match,” Pride said.
Clipperton has been aboard Think About It throughout his winning streak and the former champion Sydney apprentice said it was a privilege to ride the star galloper.
“I had my apprenticeship here at Randwick with Ron Quinton and I know every blade of grass at this joint,” Clipperton said.
“If you had have told me when I started that I was going to win an Everest, well The Everest didn’t exist and now it’s exploded into one of the most incredible races in the world and I’m just incredibly proud.”
Moody said I Wish I Win was “super” in defeat.
“The winner is a good horse,” he said.
“He’s a winner. All credit to him. And our bloke ran super.”
In the day’s other feature, the Chris Waller-trained Fangirl raced to a convincing victory in the $5 million Group One King Charles III Stakes over 1600m.