By Ray Hickson
TAB Everest contender Gytrash showed jockey Jason Collett that he’s on track for his spring mission as he made a trip to Randwick on Friday for a gallop that sent his preparation up a notch.
It was only the second time, due to the Covid-19 restrictions, Collett has had the chance to evaluate Gytrash since he arrived at his partner Clare Cunningham’s Warwick Farm stable so it was an important piece of work.
The six-year-old was one of five spring carnival stars, the others Verry Elleegant, Hungry Heart, Zaaki and Mo’unga, to work at Randwick and he galloped 800m on his own and sprinted up over the last 600m.
“He’s heading in the right direction,’’ Collett said.
“He was fine, he’s himself. He can be a bit lazy by himself but he had a trip away and a gallop and that’s what we wanted.
“It was on the bridle, just comfortable work.
“It’s tricky at the moment as I can’t go to Warwick Farm to go any gallops. I rode him once when he first came back but that was just slow work so it was good to get back onto his back.”
Last year’s TAB Everest third placegetter, who will again run in the Inglis slot in the $15 million sprint at Randwick on October 16, wound up last spring by taking out the Yes Yes Yes Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill.
He had bone chips removed after winning that $1m feature and reappeared in the late autumn for two starts, a third in the Group 1 Goodwood (1200m) in Adelaide and an uncharacteristic 12th in the Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Stakes (1300m) in Brisbane.
Collett rode Gytrash in both races and said there were genuine excuses for the Eagle Farm failure where he raced wide and struck interference early in the straight.
“He had a long layoff after an injury and he went well first-up then was just got chewed out of it (in Brisbane), it was disappointing not to see where he would have ended up but he was dealt a wide barrier so it made things difficult,’’ he said.
“But he’s prepping up well now so we’re happy.”
Trainers Gordon Richards and Damien Moyle plan to give Gytrash, $15 in TAB’s all-in Everest market, a barrier trial at Warwick Farm on Tuesday, where trackwork rider Josh Evans will ride, before assessing his path to a first-up run.
That’s expected to include another trial and a resumption in the Group 2 $500,000 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 18.
Meanwhile, Masked Crusader made an early Everest statement with a rousing barrier trial win at Rosehill on Friday morning.
The five-year-old, runner-up in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) in the autumn, was secured by the Max Whitby and Neil Werrett slot and he was partnered by Courtney Van Der Werf as he ran out a two length winner in a 900m heat clocking 56.13.