Sunlight building fitness ahead of springSunday 23 June 2019
Star filly Sunlight is back at the Flemington stables of trainer Tony McEvoy but her race program into the $14 million The Everest is yet to be confirmed.
Sunlight won three Group One races this season - the Coolmore Stud Stakes, Newmarket Handicap and William Reid Stakes - and last month was named as the representative for The Everest slot held by a group headed by Max Whitby.
McEvoy's son and assistant trainer, Calvin McEvoy, says having a slot in the rich sprint in October at Randwick locked in takes some of the pressure off.
"It gives us a bit of leeway and freedom to prepare her to really peak on the day," he said.
"Obviously when people are chasing Everest slots they've got to run in target races and try to get the attention of slot holders. But that's been done now and she's obviously very much deserved of her chance in the race.
"We're just hoping it's not too wet on the day."
He says Sunlight "looks amazing" in the early stages of her spring build-up at Flemington.
"She's a filly that we've learned over time takes a little bit more of a base preparation than most, which is why she has been beaten a few times first-up," he said.
"She got beaten in Adelaide first-up last year and she got beaten in the Group One Lightning.
"So she just takes that little bit more work which is why she's in a bit earlier.
"She knows Flemington and really enjoys being trained out of Flemington.
"She has just stepped up to some stronger canters, but she's fantastic.
"She's really full of herself and feeling good."
Rising four-year-old Sunlight is one of seven confirmed runners for this year's Everest with five of the 12 slots still to be filled.
Redzel, winner of the first two Everests, has been confirmed to run in the slot held by Yulong Investments.
Other confirmed Everest runners are Santa Ana Lane, Pierata, Classique Legend, In Her Time and Arcadia Queen.