Trainer Tony McEvoy is bracing for what could be a career-changing few days following the news that his sprint queen Sunlight has gained a slot for October’s $14 million The Everest.
Among the possibilities this weekend for McEvoy are his two-pronged attack on gaining a ballot-free run into November’s Melbourne Cup via the Andrew Ramsden Stakes at Flemington; a Group 1 challenge from Dollar For Dollar in Brisbane where he also hopes to unearth a future star in the Group 2 Sires’ Produce Stakes.
‘’It would be a good week for me if I got a slot in The Everest and got a Melbourne Cup runner,’’ McEvoy said looking ahead to the runs of Sasko and Rockarral in the revamped Andrew Ramsden Stakes at Flemington.
The three-time Group 1 winner Sunlight was taken by the slot owned by a syndicate headed by Max Whitby and Neil Werrett on Friday to be the fourth horse to be guaranteed a slot in the 1200-metre Randwick race following earlier deals done by connections of Pierata (Aquis), Classique Legend (Bon Ho/Carmel Size Racing) and Santa Ana Lane (TAB).
‘’It’s really exciting for me to have a runner in The Everest and for the ownership group to have these guys that are steeped in racing and it’s a real endorsement for the filly,’’ McEvoy said.
‘’Now we can step back and work as hard as we can to make sure she gets there in the best shape we can.’’
Sunlight was sent for a spell late last month but as she tends to over-eat in her time off, she won’t be out of action for long.
‘’She’ll be back in work in one week,’’ McEvoy said. ‘’I haven’t planned which route we’ll take yet but we’ll start working on that pretty soon.’’
Sunlight is rated a $10 with BetEasy to win The Everest in early markets behind co-favourite Pierata and Santa Ana Lane ($6) with Osborne Bulls at $7.