US Navy Flag (right) gallops with stablemate Somerset Maugham after arriving in Australia. Picture: Getty Images
US Navy Flag (right) gallops with stablemate Somerset Maugham after arriving in Australia. Picture: Getty Images

World will be watching Everest

COOLMORE'S Tom Mag­nier maintains the $13 million The TAB Everest has put Sydney and Australian racing on the world's sporting stage.

Magnier, who part-owns Irish sprinter and Everest hopeful US Navy Flag, said there was unprecedented ­interest in the world's richest turf race, run at Royal Randwick on October 13.

"I have never seen anything like it,'' Magnier said at Canterbury trackwork.

"There is the Pegasus (World Cup) in America but this is a whole different league. What Peter V'landys and the team at Racing NSW and the ATC have done with The ­Everest should be applauded.

"It is a fantastic concept and has really put racing on the front pages.

"The whole world is watching this race. Everyone is talking about it in Ireland, they are talking about it in America, and in Japan.

"It's a massive thing and great for racing.''

Irish galloper U S Navy Flag has some light exercise at Canterbury Park yesterday after arriving in Sydney for a crack at The Everest next month. Picture: Getty Images
Irish galloper U S Navy Flag has some light exercise at Canterbury Park yesterday after arriving in Sydney for a crack at The Everest next month. Picture: Getty Images

The Aidan O'Brien-trained US Navy Flag and travelling companion Somerset Maugham had some light exercise on the Canterbury polytrack on Monday morning, less than 24 hours after their arrival in Sydney.

"US Navy Flag had a canter to have a look at the facilities and get to know his way around,'' Magnier said.

"We will step him up in a couple of days. The facilities here are fantastic with the polytrack and the turf track.

"When you come such a long way and to be looked after like this is great.

"We will tell everyone in Europe about these facilities and I'm sure more will come to Sydney from overseas to race.''

US Navy Flag, raced by Coolmore, is the first northern hemisphere-trained runner in The Everest and O'Brien's first Sydney starter.

Magnier said Coolmore was hopeful of starting ­Caravaggio in the inaugural The Everest last year and there was disappointment when the sprinter's form ­tapered and the trip to Sydney was ruled out.

Coolmore’s Tom Magnier overlooks US Navy Flag’s track gallop. Picture: Getty Images
Coolmore’s Tom Magnier overlooks US Navy Flag’s track gallop. Picture: Getty Images

But US Navy Flag, a two-time Group 1 winner as a juvenile, confirmed an Everest start when he won his third major in the July Cup at ­Newmarket.

"When we dropped him back in trip, that's the day the light came on and he did what Aidan thought he would do,'' Magnier said.

"The way he won the July Cup we were delighted. We tried to run Caravaggio in the Everest last year but that didn't go according to plan.

"Hopefully we have the right horse but there are a lot of great sprinters in Australia so we know we have our work cut out.''

O'Brien's travelling foreman Andrew Murphy said that U S Navy Flag was a ­seasoned traveller who had taken the 28-hour trip from Ireland in his stride.

"US Navy Flag has done a lot of travelling before he started his journey here and he travelled great,'' Murphy said.

"He's a very laid-back, ­docile horse with a great attitude and that's why he travels so well.

"As you saw when they were out walking around, they are very bright and alert and that's what you love to see.''

 


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