Timeform Rates Sovereigns A Serious Everest Prospect

By Ray Hickson

July Cup winner Ten Sovereigns would own the second highest Timeform rating of The TAB Everest field and be a live chance if Coolmore select the exciting colt to be their representative for 2019.

That’s the opinion of Racing And Sports’ Timeform expert Adam Blencowe after looking at the recently released ratings for the Group 1 sprint at Newmarket run last weekend.

Coolmore and Aidan O’Brien travelled last year’s July Cup winner U S Navy Flag to Sydney for The Everest but that horse didn’t handle the conditions and could only manage ninth.

Blencowe says Ten Sovereigns’ Timeform rating of 129 makes him a cut above.

“A rating of 129 is one of the highest in the recent history of the July Cup,’’ he said.

“It’s a race which has been won by some familiar names in Australia including Starspangledbanner who ran to 128 winning the race in 2010.

“It’s a full five pounds better than U S Navy Flag’s performance in the race last year and Ten Sovereigns has achieved it with a much more progressive profile.’’

Ten Sovereigns has now won four of his six starts and the July Cup is his second at Group 1 level, the other being the Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes which was also won by U S Navy Flag.

Blencowe said of the seven horses currently confirmed for the Everest only Santa Ana Lane has a higher Timeform rating, of 130.

“Domestically, at this point in time, there would be little doubt that Ten Sovereigns would be a market leader and terrific chance if he were to come down for The Everest,’’ he said.

Coolmore’s Tom Magnier said on radio following the July Cup win that Ten Sovereigns is “in the mix’’ for the Everest slot but they’re in no rush to make anything official. The colt is now an $11 chance in TAB’s market.

Magnier named Chris Waller’s soon to be three-year-old Yes Yes Yes, not seen since the Golden Slipper, as a local option for the slot.

Meanwhile, Godolphin and the Melbourne Racing Club have been announced as new slot holders for 2019 replacing Damion Flower and the Australian Turf Club respectively.

Godolphin’s Australian Managing Director Vin Cox said securing a slot will allow trainer James Cummings to plan with a level of certainty for the race.

Osborne Bulls, currently second favourite with TAB at $7, ran third in last year’s Everest and is one of several horses in consideration.

“We have a number of elite sprinters in our racing team who are about to kick-off their spring campaigns – led by Alizee who is likely to trial this Friday at Rosehill,’’ Cox said.

“Now we have the surety of our own slot, it is a case of identifying which of our horses will be representing us in The Everest.’’

And in a surprise move the Melbourne Racing Club will run a series of races leading to a ‘win and you’re in’ golden ticket into the TAB Everest for the winner of its Schillaci Stakes (1100m) on October 12 after buying the ATC’s slot for this year.

The Everest is run alongside Caulfield Cup day a week after the Schillaci.

MRC chief executive Josh Blanksby said being involved with the ATC for their two feature meetings is a win-win for both clubs.

“From an MRC perspective, connecting the Schillaci to the Everest, will see an increased interest in racing on Caulfield Guineas Day – as well as the lead-up races preceding it,’’ he said.

“This concept breaks down barriers by fostering collaboration, embracing two great racing carnivals to benefit the entire industry, our members, participants, fans and punters.”