O’Brien Hopes U S Navy Flag Will Fly to top of The Everest

Put up the prizemoney and they will come.

The Everest is worth $13 million in prizemoney this year and a Group 1 champion that has been burning up the turf in England and Ireland is headed for Randwick under the direction of trainer Aiden O’Brien.

The horse is U S Navy Flag, which sounds something of a misnomer for a horse that races in the British Isles, on turf no less, but the four-year-old entire is by a US sire called War Front. War Front’s connections charge $250,000 for his services, rightfully so, because the stud has produced 18 Grade 1 winners from his base in Kentucky.

U S Navy Flag has an impressive record, one that is deserving of lines that include major champions, such as Northern Dancer and US Triple Crown winner Secretariat.

He has won five times and placed on four occasions from 16 starts, including Group 1s at Newmarket three times, the most recent being the Group 1 July Cup in mid-July of this year.

O’Brien indicated that the horse would enter quarantine in the first part of September, telling Racing NSW, “US Navy Flag came out of the July Cup very well and is still on target for The Everest. We are very happy with him.He had a tough first half of the season so we have given him a little break after the July Cup.The plan is for him to probably have a racecourse gallop as a lead up to The Everest and he will run in the race straight out of quarantine.”

He will run once more in Ireland at the end of August, and then head for Sydney. He is quoted at $13 by Ladbrokes, equal to Santa Ana Lane, but well behind Trapeze Artist ($4.50), Nature Strip and 2017 The Everest winner Redzel (both $6.50) and Vega Magic ($6.50).

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