THE PUNTING MONOLOGUE "AUSTRALIAN GUINEAS SPECIAL LISTEN

The Everest Preview

Royal Randwick’s Everest Preview

The richest race on turf is finally here! It’s Everest day at Randwick on a heavy deck and the stars are ready to climb the mountain that is the 15-million-dollar feature. Will Nature Strip show his class again and go back-to-back or will it be time for a new champion?

Nature Strip is clearly the one to beat, he’s the reigning champion and is arguably in career best form after conquering Royal Ascot and returning for a first up win in the shorts beating most of this field quite comfortably. He’s won six times on a soft track and has won on seven occasions at Randwick in the past. Stepping up to 1200 should only benefit him also. The only concern is he has been beaten in his last four second up runs but this preparation has been considerably different after his trip to the UK. He’s short at even money but is justifiable with his class. Clear on top hope.

Lost And Running has been good this preparation with a third first up in The Shorts behind Nature Strip and a win in the Premiere Stakes. He was fourth in the 2021 edition but has improved considerably since then. Is unbeaten on a heavy surface and does like Randwick winning three times here. Downside is his third up form is poor and he rises in grade again. Does map well from a midfield draw though and should get every chance to have a crack at Nature strip late. The main danger and place hope for me.

Masked Crusader nearly caught Nature Strip in this race last year and has been ok since returning this preparation. A Soft track here will benefit and has only missed the minors once at Randwick over this distance. His best form is well and truly good enough to be competitive and maps really well off what looks to be an extremely hot tempo. Will be chasing down Nature Strip again and is a real place hope.

Jacquinot was super last start when winning the Golden Rose smashing the line. Does drop a furlong in distance but has won twice over 1200m. The track being in the soft range does benefit him dramatically. He’s the best three-year-old in the race and is capable of sneaking into the minors.

Eduardo has been racing well this preparation and comes into this fresh. Loves a soft track and the Randwick six furlongs. He’s upset Nature Strip in the past and if things go right, he is capable of doing so again. A possibility to hold on to a spot in the placings.

Shades of Rose is the value play for me. She comes into this fresh and has been racing extremely well. She’s won her last four, loves a soft track and could sneak into the placings at juicy odds.

Nature Strip looks primed to go back-to-back with the Waller and McDonald combination having already been lethal this spring and look poised to strike again. Masked Crusader in for second and Lost And Running for third with the three-year-old Jacquinot slotting in for fourth. Boxed first 4 with the 1,2,3,4 and 11 looks tempting with Nature Strip being so short and a safe play.

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