Trainer Anthony Cummings says it’s ‘ridiculous’ that The TAB Everest still doesn’t have Group 1 status ahead of the fourth edition of the race this Saturday.
Cummings will saddle up his first runner in the $15 million feature this weekend when his gun sprinter Libertini tackles the richest race on turf at Randwick.
He believes it’s time the race is awarded top-level status after setting the benchmark for Australian sprint racing in the past few years.
The Everest already ranks above the TJ Smith Stakes and VRC Sprint Classic in international race ratings.
The Everest has been rated 120.5 in its last two years to comfortably rank among the top 20 races in the world.
Averaging over 115 over three or more years usually sees races earn Group 1 status – a mark The Everest has easily cleared in all three editions won by Redzel (2017, 2018) and Yes Yes Yes (2019).
Yes Yes Yes won last year’s running of The Everest. Photo: Matt King/Getty ImagesSource:NewsLocal
Racing Victoria is one of the main forces standing in the way of The Everest earning Group 1 status, arguing it seeks to protect the racing pattern for its Group 1 sprint features.
Cummings believes that must change.
“I think it is a ridiculous this race isn’t a Group 1,” he said.
“The Golden Rose became a Group 1 in (six) years.
“This is the fourth running of this race and it is the highest rating sprint every year it has been run.
“For it not to be a Group 1 race means the system is not working properly.”
A lack of Group 1 status didn’t impact the stud potential of last year’s winner Yes Yes Yes, which was valued at $40 million after his victory.
However, it is still to be seen what impact it would have on a potential winning mare.
Regan Bayliss will ride Anthony Cummings-trained Libertini. Photo: Mark Evans/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Cummings is still chasing a maiden Group 1 win to add to Libertini’s resume with the four-year-old already a three-time Group 2 winner.
She won her latest Group 2 with a stunning victory in the Group 2 Premiere Stakes as a final lead up for The Everest.
Stable jockey Regan Bayliss will pilot Cummings’ talented daughter of I Am Invincible in Saturday’s main event.
Originally published asCummings: It’s ridiculous The Everest isn’t a Group 1
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