Navy passes on Everest climb
THE $13 million Everest was the central theme after the wins of Merchant Navy at Royal Ascot, Prompt Response at Doomben and Nature Strip at Flemington last Saturday.
Merchant Navy was an outstanding winner of the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes but it seems the crack Australian colt is headed for stud duties and won't be in Everest contention when the world's richest turf race is run at Royal Randwick on October 13.
Some slot-holders have made contact with Merchant Navy's new owners Coolmore Stud since his Royal Ascot triumph to persuade them to keep the sprinter in training.
But Merchant Navy has already been advertised to stand at stud this spring and more than 150 mares have been booked.
The sprinter's Royal Ascot win has also ensured he is commercially appealing to northern hemisphere breeders.
"Merchant Navy will be coming back to Australia to stand at stud,'' a Coolmore spokesman said on Sunday night.
"The Everest is an absolute no.''
Prompt Response's trainer Adrian Bott is making a strong case for that mare to be considered an Everest contender after her Tiara win.
Bott, who trains in partnership with Gai Waterhouse, said if Prompt Response was trained specifically for the 1200m of The Everest, she would be very competitive.
The Bott-Waterhouse stable also has brilliant mare English in the mix for The Everest, with at least one slot-holder said to be interested.
Nature Strip has always had a boom on him and he looked the part beating up moderate opposition at Flemington.