Buenos Noches puts name forward for slot in The Everest 2023

Buenos Noches has announced himself as a genuine contender for an Everest slot with a slashing first-up win in the Show Country Quality at Randwick.

Carrying topweight of 58.5kg, the backmarker had to overcome a slowly run race but was in a different league to his rivals, shouldering his way into the clear and then sprinting quickly to score running away.

Relieved trainer Matt Smith said that was exactly what he wanted to see from the four-year-old, who was narrowly beaten by Giga Kick in the Danehill Stakes last spring and hadn’t raced since finishing midfield in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap in March.

“You hope they can do that, but you never know when they are first-up,” Smith said.

“But he really quickened up ‘good’ today.

“He’s a talent. He had the form on the board, but you just want to see them come back and do it.”

Buenos Noches cost just $40,000 as an Inglis Classic yearling and will be racing for a share of $15 million if he can secure an Everest slot.

While the horse had only attracted minimal Everest interest before Saturday, Smith hoped his Show County Quality (1200m) audition would spike the interest of slot holders.

“We have had a few nibbles, but nothing definite as yet,” Smith said.

“I think they (Everest slot-holders) were waiting to see him today.

“But the Everest is where we want to be, we are on our way, first box ticked.”

Smith will keep an open mind on where Buenos Noches ($5.50) has his next start but races like the Theo Marks Stakes (1300m) on September 9 and The Shorts (1100m) a week later are in the mix.

“Everyone who has been on him says he has Group One ability, but we know they are hard to win,” Smith said.

Joe Pride provided the two placegetters with Argentia ($7) 1-1/4 lengths behind the winner in second and Dragonstone ($7) another length away third.

He was happy with the performance of both, but particularly Argentia who has shown a renewed enthusiasm for racing.

“Dragonstone is what he is, he’s very honest,” Pride said.

“Argentia, she was super. That was not the way I wanted the race to pan out for her but what I loved about her, and where she was lacking before she came up here, was an effort a lot of the time.

“She was entitled to run fourth when the winner came across her, but she just picked herself up and ran through the line like she did the other day.”

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