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By Graham Potter | Saturday, October 14, 2017

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily.

If you haven’t heard of The Everest, the $10 million race which will be contested at Randwick today, you must have been out of range of all racing media communication for the last seven months.

From the outset Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club committed themselves to an all-encompassing advertising and promotional plan, backed by the full chorus of the Sydney racing media, and they have delivered in spades.

Since the launch in February The Everest has never been far away from the main story of the day. It unfolded chapter by chapter, from the first call of business of confirming the slot holders, to the interplay of those slot holders with owners and trainers as the latter group jostled for position, pushing the claims of their horses to try to find favour and secure a place in the starting line-up.

Some slot holders announced their runners early. Others waited ... and so feature races along the way gained extra coverage on the back of the involvement of potential Everest contenders as the countdown to the final field became more intense.

Now we are just hours away from seeing who thrives in the rarefied air that surrounds the chase for the $5.8 million first prize ... from seeing who stumbles within sight of the summit and from seeing which of the challengers simply fall off the cliff.

One thing is certain. Nobody is going to take any prisoners in this one. (Could it be a steward’s nightmare ... what are the chances there will be a whip protest?)

You see this is a really high stakes game ... not just for the win but for the potential losses involved ... because all of the twelve slot holders have taken a huge gamble here.

The purchase price of a slot per year (with a three year commitment) was $600 000. The $5.8 million first prize would be a good bet to pull off and the $1,425 million second prize would be great. Even third place $800 000 would net a healthy return on investment, but all of the other nine slot holders will finish in the red on the credit sheet.

Everybody involved have said they simply just wanted to be part of it all.

Finishing fourth or worse might just take the gloss off that sentiment ... until next year at least.

Then those with money to spare will be back to do it all over again!

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