By Simon Brunsdon and Brett Graham

It’s the richest turf race in the world, with a staggering $15,000,000 on offer. Into its fifth year, The Everest is quickly becoming one of the world’s most sought after prizes.

Sydney’s weather could play a big part in the outcome of this year’s race, with 10mm of rain falling on Thursday evening, along with showers on Friday morning, which is likely to leave the track a bit softer than would otherwise be the case.

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Only 12 horses will face the starter, with the winner taking home $6.2 million in prizemoney, while the runner up picks up a tidy $2.3 million.

The Chris Waller trained Nature Strip is the favourite for the weight-for-age race, with the seven-year-old attempting to win the race at his third try, having finished seventh in 2020 and fourth in 2019 after leading for much of the journey.

As Waller explained to the Sydney Morning Herald, Nature Strip’s allergies mean the horse often runs better in the autumn than the spring. His stall isn’t filled with hay as you’d expect, but cardboard.

“I know how he feels, I get hay fever, and I’m not trying to win races,” Waller said. “If it’s hard to breathe you just don’t feel any good. I’ll do anything to make myself feel better.

“We put him on the cardboard to help him, because it cuts down the dust, and it’s the dust that causes the hay fever, which is caused by his allergies.

“We had him on antibiotics more days than he wasn’t last year, all ones that you can race on, but I think it might have ruined his gut health.

“He had puffers, the works.”

WHEN IS IT

Saturday, October 16.

WHERE IS IT

Royal Randwick racecourse in Sydney’s east.

CROWD CAPACITY

The Australian Turf Club had initially planned for a crowd of 5000 people at NSW’s marquee horse racing event.

But only a week ago, the NSW government signed off on a capacity crowd of 10,000 to be allowed through the gates on Saturday.

The venue can normally have 50,000 people.

Tickets went public on Thursday.

RACE TIMES

Race 1: 12.30pm

Race 2: 1.05pm

Race 3: 1.40pm

Race 4: 2.15pm

Race 5: 2.50pm

Race 6: 3.25pm

Race 7: 4.15pm (The Everest)

Race 8: 4.50pm

Race 9: 5.30pm

Race 10: 6.10pm

THE EVEREST FIELD

1. Nature Strip (Barrier: 10. Weight: 58.5kg. Trainer: Chris Waller. Jockey: James McDonald)

2. Classique Legend (Barrier: 5. Weight: 58.5kg. Trainer: Les Bridge. Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy)

3. Eduardo (Barrier: 7. Weight: 58.5kg. Trainer: Joseph Pride. Jockey: Nash Rawiller)

4. Gytrash (Barrier: 1. Weight: 58.5kg. Trainer: Gordon Richards & Damien Moyle. Jockey: Jason Collett)

5. Trekking (Barrier: 4. Weight: 58.5kg. Trainer: James Cummings. Jockey: Joshua Parr)

6. Masked Crusader (Barrier: 9. Weight: 58.5kg. Trainer: Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes. Jockey: Tommy Berry)

7. Wild Ruler (Barrier: 11. Weight: 58.5kg. Trainer: Peter and Paul Snowden. Jockey: Tim Clark)

8. The Inferno (Barrier: 12. Weight: 58.5kg. Trainer: Cliff Brown. Jockey: Regan Bayliss)

9. Embracer (Barrier: 3. Weight: 58.5kg. Trainer: Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott. Jockey: Jean Van Overmeire)

10. Lost And Running (Barrier: 2. Weight: 58.5kg. Trainer: John O’Shea. Jockey: Hugh Bowman)

11. Libertini (Barrier: 8. Weight: 56.5kg. Trainer: Anthony Cummings. Jockey: Sam Clipperton)

12. Home Affairs (Barrier: 6. Weight: 53kg. Trainer: Chris Waller. Jockey: Glenn Boss)

Emergencies: Kementari, Signore Fox, Standout, Chat

EVEREST PRIZEMONEY BREAKDOWN

Overall: $15,000,000

1st place: $6.2m

2nd: $2.3m

3rd: $1.4m

4th: $1m

5th: $750,000

6th: $500,000

7th: $450,000

ODDS (courtesy of Bet365, as of Friday afternoon)

$3.60 Nature Strip

$5 Classique Legend

$6 Eduardo

$7.50 Gytrash

$10 Masked Crusader

$11 Home Affairs

$21 The Inferno

$23 Lost And Running

$41 Libertini, Trekking

$51 Wild Ruler

$81 Embracer

PAST WINNERS

2017 – Redzel

2018 – Redzel

2019 – Yes Yes Yes

2020 – Classique Legend

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