IT’S hard for part-owner John Robertson not to get excited about She Will Reign’s chances in the world’s richest race ever run on turf – the $10 million The Everest – this Saturday at Randwick.
But given his recent form with heart infections, Robertson jokes that he may have to lock himself away from celebrations if the $4.80 favourite claims the $5.8 million first prize.
The Cessnock man, who works in labour hire, has been hospitalised the past two Sunday nights – the first time after the Golden Slipper winner claimed the group 1 Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley with a breathtaking finish and the next after she was named Australia’s champion two-year-old of the year.
“It’s just a coincidence I think,” Robertson laughed.
“I got an infection and ended up in hospital after we got back from Melbourne, and then after she got named two-year-old of the year on Sunday night, they put me back in again.
“I haven’t been back to work since we won the Moir. They reckon I’m still partying from the Moir but I’ve been flat on my back.
“I’ve got to take it easy this Saturday. They’ll be no beers and no excitement. I can’t get too excited. I might have to walk back to the motel room and lock myself in.”
Robertson and Cessnock brothers Matthew and Nick Evans share a five percent stake in the filly, which was a $20,000 yearling and has won $2,859,150 in just six starts. The trio paid about $2500 for their share in the horse, which has taken them and a large syndication on a dream ride.
“Just to have a runner in The Everest is exciting and we keep telling ourselves if she runs top five, we can’t be disappointed,” Robertson said. “We were saying the Manangatang Cup is on Saturday as well, and we would have been happy to be running there, in a small Victorian town running for $20,000, let alone running for this prizemoney.”
Nick was “quietly confident” of having their biggest win yet but wary of how Robertson might cope.
“It put him in hospital with a crook heart after the last one, hopefully the Everest doesn’t push him over the edge,” he said. “He’ll have to have a bit of Valium or something to watch the Everest.”
She Will Reign was drawn in gate two on Tuesday and Nick was excited about her chances given her swooping run in the Moir.
“She’s ticking all the boxes,” he said. “She was ridden along a fair way out in the Moir and to have that much speed at the end was pretty impressive. I can't wait to see her on a good track down the straight at Randwick.
“My biggest fear is that she gets boxed away but I think with Houtzen on her inside, if she can jump on the back of her, hopefully she’ll be midfield with not too many outside. Hopefully she’s far enough in front of Chautauqua to not get run down.”
Robertson hopes She Will Reign will be closer to the lead than in the Moir win. Before that run, he promised to marry partner Emily Angwin under the winning post if She Will Reign saluted.
“We’d had a few when we posted that on Facebook,” he laughed. “But I ran away once we won and I was up the top there having a beer and it never came to fruition.
“She didn’t hold me to it, but she said now we have to set a date. We've been talking about it for three years so it’s probably about time we did.”