Think About It stamps The Everest 2023 claims

Think About It has reaffirmed his Everest favouritism with a determined victory in the Premiere Stakes at Randwick as Hawaii Five Oh put his hand up for a slot with a slashing second.

Sent out a $1.85 Ladbrokes favourite, Think About It hit the front halfway up the straight and pulled out all stops for Sam Clipperton to stave off the late challenge of Hawaii Five Oh ($8.50) by a head.

The five-year-old has now won 10 of his 11 starts, the past eight in succession, Saturday’s result coming as a relief for trainer Joe Pride who has been anxious to see Think About It put the writing on the wall at his first start since taking out the Stradbroke Handicap in June.

“Big relief. It felt like there was more to lose today than to gain,” Pride said.

“He sort of looked a bit lost when he got to the front there and he’s up against these big boys now, he can’t afford to do anything wrong.

“He wandered around a little bit he’ll take good improvement out of that.”

Clipperton, the regular rider of Think About it, said he had little choice but to hit the front when he did after leader Lost And Running began to weaken.

While the winning margin was narrow, he expected the run to prove an ideal Everest lead-up for the lightly raced sprinter.

“It was a perfect run for him because it just seasons his head a bit more,” Clipperton said.

“He’s basically only dashed up two furlongs and I’m certain that this horse will take a world of improvement out of today.”

Co-trainer Adrian Bott wasn’t surprised to see Hawaii Five Oh produce a head-turning performance and hoped that would secure the horse one of the final Everest slots.

“We have tried to convince all the parties that still have slots to not make a decision before today because we wanted them to see Hawaii Five Oh,” Bott said.

“He has obviously put in a massive run here against the Everest favourite.”

Bott is also keeping the faith in former English mare Alcohol Free, who finished fourth, saying she can improve in a more truly run race.

“The shape of the race probably didn’t suit her,” Bott said.

“I’ve spoken to (owners and Everest slot holders) Yulong and told them she is on track. From our perspective, she has done enough today.”

Bella Nipotina ran her usual honest race for third ($7.50), three-quarters of a length behind the first two.

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