The Everest Math Works for U.S. Trainer Wesley Ward
Aussie thoroughbred racing fans and punters may recognize the race named the Pegasus World Cup, as it is hands down the world’s richest horse race, with prize money in 2018 of $US 16 million.
Horseracing in America is a shadow of its former self and these days is mostly supported by the deep pockets of the Stronach Group, which had to purchase three additional slots in the Pegasus in January in order to fill the field of 12.
Now comes the news that the Yanks have their eyes on The Everest at Randwick, with leading American trainer Wesley Ward targeting the world’s richest turf race with a couple of sprinters, Lady Aurelia and Bound For Nowhere.
Apparently, the lure of a $13 million race is too strong to resist, which is exactly what the brain trust behind The Everest had in mind.
Ward is taking his horses to England and Royal Ascot in June.
Lady Aurelia was the winner of the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes (1000 m) there last year and is returning to defend. Bound For Nowhere will run in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200 m) following a fourth place finish in the Commonwealth Cup last year.
Ward intends to use those races as trials to determine if he wants to subject his charges to the long float to race down under.
Hopefully, Ward will not be discouraged by the exchange rate.
As things now stand, the $13 million Roos up for grabs in The Everest equate to about $9.8 million Bucks, but that figure is still well in excess of what can be gained at most American tracks, including Churchill Downs, Pimlico and Belmont, the respective venues for the American Trip Crown races, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.
Ward is chums with Gai Waterhouse and Blake Shinn.
The ATC would like to attract some international runners to The Everest and luring one of the top U.S. operations would be a keen way to heighten interest in The Everest.