Everest contenders Sunlight (far left) and Classique Legend (far right) impressed in a barrier trial at Royal Randwick. Picture: Getty Images
Everest contenders Sunlight (far left) and Classique Legend (far right) impressed in a barrier trial at Royal Randwick. Picture: Getty Images

Legend switched on for tough climb to Everest

HE doesn't yet have the credentials of his Everest rivals but Classique Legend impressed in his first barrier trial this preparation at Royal Randwick on Tuesday.

The Les Bridge-trained grey, who has only had four starts, ran second to fellow Everest contender Sunlight in the opening barrier trial of the morning over 1000m.

Sunlight, a three-time Group 1 winner, finished 2¼ lengths in front of Classique Legend and covered the ground in 59.23 seconds with the last 600m run in 34.60. Both horses are $9 to win the $14 million Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 19.

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Classique Legend and Enticing Star are the only non-Group 1 winners that have gained a start in The Everest. Four slots are still open for the world's richest race on turf.

Kerrin McEvoy, the only jockey to have won Australia's richest race, was rapt with the way Les Bridge's galloper trialled and says he's on the right track.

"He felt really good," McEvoy said. "He put forward a nice trial and he seemed to move well, so it was a pleasing effort. He's got a good attitude and he really does switch it on when the barriers open."

Classique Legend will have another trial before racing in the Group 2 The Shorts first-up at Randwick on September 21.

Sunlight, however, will go to a star-studded Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) in a fortnight where she'll likely meet fellow Everest contenders Redzel and Pierata.

Sunlight's trainer Tony McEvoy spoke confidently about his mare's busy preparation ahead, which will see her go into The Everest fourth-up after runs in the Concorde, The Shorts and Premiere Stakes.

"October 19 is long way away and that's when we need her to peak," he said. "She gets better as her preparation goes.

"I was really pleased and wanted to give her a solid piece of work. She was having a bit of a look around out front and then responded when asked.

"As you get these good girls, they're better than the boys. We've seen that in recent years with some of our great horses (Black Caviar and Winx)."

News Corp Australia


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