The Everest 2023 contenders in trial clash

Randwick is set to host another key barrier trial session on Friday, headlined by the clash of a quintet of Everest hopefuls.

Six horses have accepted for Friday’s opening 850m heat on the Kensington track and five of those – Lost And Running, Alcohol Free, I Am Me, Private Eye and Sunshine In Paris – are in the mix for a coveted spot in the $15 million feature.

Lost And Running finished fourth in the 2021 Everest and was a race morning scratching last year when he was on the second line of betting.

Luck again deserted the Group 2 winner in the autumn when he struck wet tracks and outside gates, but with a dry spring expected, trainer John O’Shea hoped Lost And Running could again put his hand up as one of the nation’s premier speedsters.

“He will trial Friday. I’m very, very happy with him,” O’Shea said.

“I just hope this weather sticks around and if he draws a barrier inside 15 this year it will be really pleasing.”

Lost And Running, Alcohol Free and Private Eye will all be stepping out for their first trials of the campaign while Sunshine In Paris is slightly more forward having finished third in a recent 900m heat at Rosehill.

I Am Me is already up and running, taking out the Missile Stakes first-up, and Friday’s hitout is designed to keep her fitness up to the mark.

Runner-up in last year’s Everest, Private Eye has yet to secure a 2023 slot, but trainer Joe Pride has been bullish about how well he has returned and expects the backmarker to be snapped up once slot holders see him at the races.

The classy sprinter is slated to resume in The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 16.

Friday’s trials will also feature the likes of Canonbury Stakes winner Red Resistance , J J Atkins placegetter Tannhauser and Queen Of The Turf Stakes heroine Atishu.

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