Tofane locked in for The Everest; Eduardo puts slot hopes on line in The Shorts

Michael Moroney’s classy mare Tofane has officially joined the race for The Everest after Yulong Investments locked in the Group 1 winner for its slot.

Tofane won the Group 1 All Aged Stakes at Randwick in the autumn to burst onto the radar for a slot in The Everest. The five-year-old started her spring campaign with a close third in the Bobbie Lewis Quality at Flemington last Saturday.

Tofane joins Nature Strip, Gytrash, Rothfire and Classique Legend has confirmed starters in $15m The Everest at Royal Randwick on October 17. The mare is a $34 chance in the world’s richest race on turf.

Tofane has secured her spot in The Everest. Picture: AAPSource:AAP

Meantime, there have been two bets of $10,000 at $34 and $51 for Eduardo to win The Everest next month but he won’t get a run in the $15m race if he fails in Saturday’s Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick.

And his trainer Joe Pride doesn’t want it to be the second week in a row one of his Everest prospects fails to live up to expectations after Fasika’s eighth in the Sheraco Stakes.

“We’ve got to the business end of it and there’s been a few casualties already, I had one of them on Saturday,” Pride said.

“I’m not saying Faskia won’t bounce back but you’ve got to be performing now and a few horses last Saturday, including some of the three-year-old’s, didn’t quite measure up to what some of the slot holders would’ve anticipated.”

Eduardo has won both races for Pride since being transferred to his stable from Victoria including the Group 2 Missile Stakes. But that was a month ago and no Everest types were going around that day.

Eduardo scored an impressive win in the Missile Stakes last month. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

That won’t be the case on Saturday as he takes on Bivouac ($3.70), Classique Legend ($4.20) and Catalyst ($6). Eduardo is rated a $7 chance in The Shorts with Nash Rawiller on from barrier nine.

“We keep raising the bar for him and he’s kept jumping it and it’s nice to have him in really good order going into the biggest race of his career so far,” Pride said.

“I think he just needs to put a performance in that slot holders deem worthy of their slots. There’s 12 slots and they won’t go in there as equal chances.

“There’s horses that may get into the race this year that wouldn’t have in years gone by.

“I don’t know if it makes it weaker. I’d hold back on that until we have the final line-up, but we certainly don’t have all those established stars. Six months ago a lot of people would’ve asked who Rothfire was.”

Trainer Joe Pride is hoping Eduardo can secure a slot in The Everest. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

As for Fasika, she could go to the Premiere Stakes to take on Nature Strip or the Golden Pendant which would put her more on an Epsom Handicap path.

“She’s still got a chance (for the Everest) but she’s going to need to be impressive at her next start,” Pride said.

“I’m convinced she doesn’t go on firm tracks. It’s something with the So You Think breed I’ve seen a bit of. Firmer tracks seem to worry her at Rosehill but she’s gone on them at Randwick in the past.”

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Pride’s 10-year-old warhorse Ball Of Muscle also runs in The Shorts after a fourth placing behind confirmed Everest runners Gytrash and Nature Strip in the Concorde Stakes first-up.

“He’s a really good 1100m Randwick horse,” Pride said. “He’s run second in The Shorts three times and won it once so if he can race up to that past form we’ll be pleased.”

Meanwhile, another $10,000 bet, at $2.30, was put on Chris Waller’s star mare Verry Elleegant ahead of Saturday’s Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m). She was sensational in winning the Group 1 Winx Stakes first-up and she’s a well-supported favourite in front of $4.60 hope Avilius.

Originally published asTofane locked in as Eduardo eyes Shorts cut to Everest

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