Favourites get Everest rub of the green

The barrier draw has been conducted for Saturday’s $15m Everest at Royal Randwick with the favourites faring well at Tuesday night’s reveal at Sydney Tower.

The field features four runners who competed in the rich sprint in 2019, with Santa Ana Lane (2nd), Trekking (3rd), Nature Strip (4th) and Classique Legend (6th) all back for another crack for the race that will run at 4:15pm (AEDT).

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Nature Strip will jump from barrier five as he looks to bounce back to his best after two defeats to start the campaign.

He firmed from $6 into $5 joint second favourite following the draw.

Trainer Chris Waller said on Tuesday morning Nature Strip hadn’t been 100 per cent at his last start in the Premiere Stakes where mucus was discovered post-race down towards his lungs.

“That was quickly cleared up with basic antibiotics and his blood was down yesterday and the vet is very happy with his levels,” Waller said.

“He has bounced back really well.

“Knowing there was a small problem going into his last start, we can now come out of the race knowing he wasn’t 100 per cent.”

James McDonald on Nature Strip and Brenton Avdulla on Haut Brion Her.Source:Getty Images

Favourite Classique Legend ($4.50) came up with barrier six while Gytrash ($5) drew alongside in seven to the delight of his trainer Gordon Richards.

James Cummings has two runners in the race, with Bivouac running for Godolphin while Trekking will represent slot holder Max Whitby.

Cummings is drawing on Bivouac’s stunning display in the Newmarket during the autumn as evidence that he can feature on Saturday.

“Trekking is the experienced runner of our two horses in the high-pressure race here. but Bivouac’s a Newmarket winner as a three-year-old,” Cummings said.

“He did it last prep, he stormed away from them. He had some of these Everest runners in behind him there.”

There was some late changes to The Everest field early in the week.

Haut Brion Her was chosen for the last vacant position, with the mare running for Three Bridges after they did a deal to secure the slot from Chris Waller Racing for 2020.

There was drama late on Monday however when Farnan was ruled out of the race, with Dollar For Dollar getting the late call-up to run for Aquis.

The four emergencies were announced on Tuesday, with Deprive, Special Reward, Tactical Advantage and Standout in the mix should there be any last-minute scratchings.

Those four will compete in the Everest consolation, the Sydney Stakes, should they fail to get the call-up.

The reserves are in no particular order, with slot-holders able to choose from any of the four emergencies.

THE EVEREST 2020 FIELD + BARRIER DRAW

No) Horse — Barrier

1) Nature Strip — 5

2) Trekking — 4

3) Classique Legend — 6

4) Santa Ana Lane — 8

5) Behemoth — 2

6) Bivouac — 10

7) Gytrash — 7

8) Eduardo — 9

9) Dollar for Dollar — 1

10) Tofane — 11

11) Libertini — 12

12) Haut Brion Her — 3

This article originally appeared on punters.com.au and was reproduced with permission.

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