Jockey Brenton Avdulla is certain Haut Brion Her is a Group 1 mare and he’s adamant the eleventh hour pick won’t be there just to make up the numbers in Saturday’s The TAB Everest at Randwick.
Haut Brion Her earned her place in $15 million sprint on Monday after she was picked with, at the time, the last remaining open spot when her trainer Chris Waller sold his slot to owners Three Bridges Thoroughbreds.
Avdulla was without a ride in the race at that point but had been monitoring the final slots closely as the exclusive sprint field took shape.
He was quickly locked in for Haut Brion Her and travelled to Rosehill on Tuesday morning to pilot the five-year-old in her final tune up for Saturday’s lucrative grand final.
Brenton Avdulla will ride Haut Brion Her on Saturday. Photo by Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
“I have had a couple of feels of her now and The Everest obviously isn’t just a last minute thing that they’ve been thinking with her,” Avdulla said.
“I remember having a sit on her about four or five weeks ago after her first up win and she gave me the feel of a Group 1 mare so it has certainly be a target for a little bit so for her to get a slot is exciting.
“I am sure she won’t disgrace herself. I think she is a Group 1 mare in the making, she profiles well.
“Her six furlong record is super so she deserves her chance.”
Haut Brion Her was one of a number of horses being monitored for Waller’s slot heading into last weekend along with Schillaci Stakes winner Dirty Work and three-year-old Roman Consul Stakes victor Wild Ruler.
The deal had to be finalised by Tuesday morning and Waller, who steers clear of the bulk of the decision making process, was happy with the selection.
Trainer Chris Waller has two runners in The Everest. Picture: NCA NewsWire / James GourleySource:News Corp Australia
“We won the race last year with Yes Yes Yes, so it suggests we know what to do when we find the right horse,” he said.
“With Haut Brion Her I think they have made a very good choice.
“She is an exciting horse and outside her last start, where she drew wide and things went against her, she has never been out of the first two.
“We are confident she can bounce back and hence the reason for her being in this great race.”
Haut Brion Her is one of the outsiders of The Everest field and is at $26 with TAB.com.au for the 1200m sprint this weekend.
The daughter of Zoustar is a dual Group 2 winner including capturing the Sheraco Stakes first up in impressive fashion at the beginning of the spring.
Haut Brion Her was at her best winning the Sheraco Stakes. Photo by Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Haut Brion Her started favourite in the Group 2 Golden Pendant following the Sheraco but came up short second up when fading late to finish seventh in a hot paced affair.
“The 1400m was just a bit too much for her the other day,” Avdulla said.
“I know she has won at 1400m but she seems to have come back a bigger, strong mare. And faster. I think at the moment she is all speed.
“I like the profile six (furlong) to 1400m then back to six. It was a profile that worked last year albeit a three-year-old. I think Chris has got her cherry ripe. I
“If she can draw a low gate, it puts her somewhere in the first four and I have got no doubt she is a first five contender.”
Avdulla has ridden in The Everest every year it has been run with jobs on Chautauqua (2017), Graff (2018) and In Her Time (2019).
Originally published asHaut Brion Her up to Everest challenge: Avdulla
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