Two-time Everest winning syndicator Triple Crown will return to the world’s richest sprint with emerging star Mazu signed up for the 2022 and 2023 editions to run in The Star and Arrowfield slot.
The Maurice three-year-old is a $2. 80 favourite for Saturday’s Doomben 10,000, which will be run at Eagle Farm after the meeting was moved because of the heavy rain in Brisbane, but the pressure is off with the Everest deal signed on Wednesday.
It is a unique deal in that we have the slot for two years, which hasn’t been done before, Triple Crown’s Michael Ward said. We feel that he is only going to get better with a bit more maturity and what we are seeing now is just the tip of the iceberg.
Maurice as a racehorse was at his best at four and beyond, and we expect the same from Mazu. We hope he can show that in the Everest.
A Japanese star, Maurice was known as the beast from the east as he won six group 1s in Hong Kong and Japan and in just two crops has produced a Sprinters’ Stakes winner Pixie Knight in his homeland and dual Derby winner Hitotsu in Australia.
Mazu will become his flag bearer with the Arrowfield deal, where he stands in Australia, and joins Nature Strip and Masked Crusader, which will run in the Chris Waller and Max Whitby slots respectively as the third horse signed for this year’s Everest.
Like dual Everest winner Redzel, Mazu is trained by Peter and Paul Snowden, who are delighted to return to the Everest fold.
It makes it much easier when you know what your grand finals are going to be, and we have two in the next two years on Everest day, Paul Snowden said.
We have our target in the spring now, and hopefully we will be going there as a group 1 winner after Saturday’s Doomben 10,000.
Meanwhile, Kembla Grange trainer Luke Price is hoping to upset Mazu in the Doomben 10,000 and get his phone ringing from slot holders.
Price was pleased to see the 10,000 moved from Doomben as his four-year-old is an Eagle Farm winner, having won the Victory Stakes over the course and distance two weeks ago.
We know we can handle Eagle Farm and we know he will be better for that run there, Price said. I wasn’t as confident if we were going to be on a real heavy Doomben, and was happy to hear that we are going back to Eagle Farm.
He worked sensational since he came home [to Kembla]. He is a hard-fit horse going up there and I think he will show a few people on the weekend that he is a horse for The Everest.
I haven’t heard from any slot holders yet but if he wins I’m sure the phone will be ringing.
Godolphin will also use the weekend to assess which sprinter will fill their slot.
Kementari and Paulele are both $10 hopes in the 10,000, while the emerging Andermatt will run in the Luskin Star Stakes at Scone. Trekking, an Everest placegetter, will run in the Goodwood in Adelaide next Saturday.
Andermatt, like Mazu, is unbeaten since being gelded and trainer James Cummings believes Scone was the right place to continue his rise through the grades in a race where the winner has found a spot in the Everest on four occasions in its five-year history.
It is interesting that races get patterns like that and this race is certainly gaining a reputation for its link with The Everest, Cummings said.
It is the right next step for Andermatt, who is developing along the lines of Osborne Bulls, Trekking and Ranier, who have won the race for Godolphin.
We are certainly going to find out a lot more about who is our Everest top seed in the next two Saturdays.