She Will Reign Set To Conquer Everest

Mar 24, 2017

Scott Darby signed an agreement with Yu Long Investments on Thursday for Golden Slipper winner She Will Reign to represent their slot in the Everest.

After a week of negotiations, She Will Reign's owners have agreed to a prizemoney split, which will return them more prizemoney than her Golden Slipper win should she win the Everest.

The Golden Slipper winner is the first confirmed horse for a slot in the $10 million race.

She Will Reign will race in Darby's silks but the trophy will go to Yu Long if She Will Reign's wins the Everest as part of the deal.

Darby was delighted to come to an agreement with Yu Long, which had attempted to buy into the filly last year.

"It is good because we were dealing with someone who had faith in the filly for a long time. They actually made an offer to us for a share after her first win at Kembla, but we didn't take it," Darby said. "We will sign the paperwork on Friday and like I said to her 19 owners, this is like a free shot at a $10 million race.

"We had looked at possibly buying a slot but it was too big of a gamble. This way we have a spot in the race and have some certainty where we are going in the spring.

"The agreement guarantees us a slot, provided everything goes right. It is the best of both worlds for us and exciting going forward with another partner.

"It is like a dream that doesn't seem to have an end."

Inglis managing director Mark Webster had been negotiating the deal for a long-time client after celebrating the Golden Slipper win with She Will Reign's owners. He confirmed to Fairfax Media the Chinese slot holder has major racing interests in Australia and is excited about the Everest concept.

She Will Reign's trainer Gary Portelli will need to find another jockey for the first two runs of She WIll Reign's spring campaign because Ben Melham will not be able to make the 50.5 kilograms at weight-for-age.

"It is exciting but I feel for Ben because he won't be able to make the weight," Portelli said. "We will probably go to the Moir Stakes over 1000 metres at Moonee Valley and then straight into the Everest.

"The Golden Slipper was always my Everest with her but now we have another Everest to climb in the spring.

"She is out spelling and everything points towards that race at Randwick in October."

Darby said there was no deal at the moment to carry any sponsorship in his colours for the Everest, which will be run on October 14.

The Star and Tabcorp have also bought slots and are searching for sprinters to take their slots.

The ATC has purchased a slot and it will be used as a wildcard for the race. It is formulating a plan for a race series where sprinters will get points with the top-ranked horse not already in the field to be offered the club's slot.

Damion Flower, another slot holder, said he was hoping to have a horse of his own for the Everest but is also taking an interest in sprints around the world.

"You want to give yourself the best chance of winning it, so we are keeping our options open," Flower said.

News Chris Roots, Sydney Morning Herald