Classique Legend has beaten Bivouac and Gytrash in the $15 million Everest to claim the most valuable thoroughbred purse on turf in world racing.
Coming from midfield under Kerrin McEvoy, Classique Legend sprinted brilliantly to salute with authority in the 1200m race at Randwick.
Classique Legend is trained by Les Bridge, a veteran horseman who has also won a Melbourne Cup and a Golden Slipper during a decorated career.
The Everest was first launched in 2017 at Sydney’s Randwick and has already established itself as one of horse racing’s most prestigious events.
It’s the third Everest victory for the world-class jockey Kerrin McEvoy (pictured after the race with Classique Legend)
And since the day Classique Legend first walked into his stable, Bridge has known the gelding was a special horse.
But in the countdown to Saturday, he was certain the sprinter was the best he had put a bridle on and he wouldn’t hear of defeat.
‘I’ve been telling everyone for three months,’ he said.
McEvoy, who has ridden three of the only four Everest winners, said Classique Legend had a job to do in a race that was run at a breakneck speed.
‘I looked up at the 600 (metres) and they were well in front, they were off,’ he said.
‘I thought, ‘far out’ if Nature Strip and the companions are back to their best they are going to take a bit of running down.
‘Full credit to my horse. With that cover and soft time of it early, he was able to really power when I asked him. Soon after I was confident I would pick them up.’
In a favourite’s race, Classique Legend ($4.20) surged clear for a 2-1/2 length win over Bivouac ($9.50).
South Australian-trained sprinter Gytrash ($6) finished a half-length away third with Bivouac’s stablemate Trekking in fourth.
Punters are seen celebrating at the $15million thoroughbred race
Trainer Matthew Dale (pictured centre) and wife Amy Dale (right) react during the running of race 5, the Kosciuszko