The Wonder Everest: Form guide Black Caviar (Bel Esprit – Helsinge) wins the G1 TJ Smith Stakes at Royal Randwick on 13 April 2013. Trained by Peter Moody. Ridden by Luke Nolen. Photo by Bronwen Healy. Picture: Supplied


Who is the greatest sprinter of all time? We will find out in the 2021 Wonder Everest. Ray Thomas details the careers of every starter.

Who is the greatest sprinter of all time?

Is is Black Caviar? Could she compete with the freakish speed of champions Vain or Todman? Now we will find out in the 2021 Everest Wonder race.

Check out the field and form below.



1. Manikato

Ch g, Manihi-Markato

Trainer: Bob Hoysted. Jockey: Gary Willetts

Record: 47 starts: 29 wins, 8 seconds, 5 thirds

Manikato, purchased for just $3,500 as a yearling, developed into a champion sprinter and the second horse after the legendary Kingston Town to earn $1 million prizemoney. Bon Hoysted never had a Group 1 winner in 40 years as a trainer until Manikato thrashed his rivals in the 1978 Blue Diamond Stakes and Golden Slipper. Sadly, the trainer passed away later that year and his brother, Bob, was given Manikato to train. Manikato had injury problems and was highly strung but he was a magnificent racehorse, winning 29 of his 47 races including four Futurity Stakes, three CF Orr Stakes, George Ryder Stakes, Caulfield Guineas and Doomben 10,000. He was officially credited with 11 Group 1 wins but some of his successes came in races that have subsequently been elevated to Group 1 level including his record five successive William Reid Stakes (1979-83).


Ch h, Star Kingdom-Oceana

Trainer: Maurice McCarten. Jockey: Neville Sellwood

Record: 12 starts 10 wins 1 second

Todman was a speed machine who created a huge impression at his very first start, winning by 10 lengths at Randwick over five furlongs (1000m) in a then record time of 57.8s. He was virtually untouchable as a two-year-old, even beating older horses in a Welter before his eight-lengths romp in the inaugural Golden Slipper in 1957. The freakish Todman then stepped out to seven furlongs (1400m) for the AJC Sires Produce Stakes and suffered a shock defeat when run down by another emerging champion in Tulloch. They clashed again in the Champagne Stakes, run over six furlongs, and Todman gained immediate revenge with a stunning 10 lengths win. As a three-year-old, Todman was in similar dominant form winning the Hobartville Stakes and then the Canterbury Guineas by eight lengths. He then broke down in the Hill Stakes, finishing fourth, the only unplaced run of his career. After missing his entire four-year-old season, the brilliant sprinter resumed as an autumn five-year-old, winning each of his three starts including the Lightning Stakes and Futurity Stakes before he was retired to stud.,


Bay g, Celtic Swing-Shady Stream

Trainer: Joe Janiak. Jockey: Jay Ford

Record: 41 starts 21 wins, 6 seconds, 4 thirds

Trainer Joe Janiak was a Queanbeyan taxi driver when he purchased an unraced four-year-old Takeover Target for just $1250. In one of the great rags-to-riches tales in Australian racing, the gelding developed into a champion sprinter, winning 21 of his 41 races and more than $6 million prizemoney. Takeover Target was ridden by Jay Ford for most of his career and won eight Group 1 races including the 2006 Lightning Stakes and Newmarket Handicap, and 2009 TJ Smith Stakes. But the gelding also proved himself on the international stage, winning the 2006 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, the 2006 Sprinters Stakes in Japan and the 2008 KrisFlyer International Sprint in Singapore.

4. Chautauqua

Gr g Encosta De Lago-Lovely Jubly

Trainers: John, Michael and Wayne Hawkes. Jockey: Tommy Berry

Record: 32 starts 13 wins, 7 seconds, 4 thirds

Chautauqua, trained by Team Hawkes, was one of the most engaging, exciting and enigmatic champions of the modern era. Engaging because the “Grey Flash” became a real fan favourite, exciting because of his trademark last-to-first finishing bursts and enigmatic because of his recalcitrant barrier antics that eventually forced his premature retirement. But Chautauqua left an indelible impression on racegoers, winning 13 of his 32 races including six at Group 1 level highlighted by his incredible TJ Smith Stakes hat-trick (2015-16-17) and 2016 Chairman’s Sprint Prize win in Hong Kong.


Gr g Salieri-Biscarina

Trainer: Lee Freedman. Jockey: Damien Oliver

Record: 36 starts 16 wins, 5 seconds, 5 thirds

Schillaci burst onto the scene as an autumn three-year-old in 1993, winning the Lightning Stakes, Oakleigh Plate and Newmarket Handicap treble, becoming a triple Group 1 winner after just six starts. He added another major two starts later in The Galaxy. The brilliant grey gelding, trained by Lee Freedman, returned the following season and won another three Group 1 races in the Lightning Stakes, Futurity Stakes and George Ryder Stakes and ran the fastest 1000m in Australian racing history when he won the Rubiton Stakes in 55s flat. Schillaci had injury problems as an older horse and was eventually retired with 16 wins from 36 attempts but, when at his peak, Freedman said of the grey champ: “This horse is another Manikato.’’


Bay g Arkenstone-Northern Queen

Trainer: Wally Mitchell. Jockey: John Scorse

Record: 21 starts 14 wins, 2 seconds, 1 third

Placid Ark was the first to achieve what many had considered impossible – the Melbourne sprint triple of the Lightning Stakes, Oakleigh Plate and Newmarket Handicap in 1987. The Perth speedster, trained by Wally Mitchell, was so brilliantly fast that Hall of Famer Tommy Smith was moved to rate the gelding as possibly the best sprinter he had ever seen. After his Melbourne Group 1 hat-trick, three-year-old Placid Ark won the Canterbury Stakes then was burdened with 57kg and conceded Princely Heart 6.5kg when narrowly beaten in The Galaxy. Placid Ark returned as an older horse to win the Rupert Steele Stakes, Moir Stakes and Linlithgow Stakes but soon after winning the 1988 Bobbie Lewis Quality, he suffered a catastrophic leg injury.


Bay g Snitzel-Millrich

Trainer: Peter and Paul Snowden. Jockey: Kerrin McEvoy

Record: 39 starts 15 wins, 10 seconds, 3 thirds

Redzel was always a brilliant sprinter but it took him a while to learn to harness his natural speed. When he matured, the gelding was exciting to watch and extremely popular with race fans. From the Team Snowden stable, Redzel came into his own in 2017 winning the Doomben 10,000 then being selected by slot holder James Harron for the inaugural The Everest. Redzel rode the hot speed, kicked clear in the straight and held off Vega Magic to win the world’s richest turf race. Redzel added another Group 1 in the Darley Sprint then returned the following year and revelled in the heavy track conditions to win a second successive Everest wins from Trapeze Artist. He also won three successive Concorde Stakes and eventually retired with career earnings of more than $16 million.


Gr g Not A Single Doubt-Pinnochio

Trainer: Les Bridge. Jockey: Hugh Bowman

Record: 13 starts 6 wins, 2 seconds, 2 thirds

Les Bridge, the Hall of Fame trainer, has prepared many outstanding horses during his career but none better than Classique Legend. The gifted grey has demonstrated outstanding sprinting ability he contested the 2019 The Everest in just second race preparation and finished a luckless sixth to Yes Yes Yes. The loss fuelled Bridge’s ambitions to win the world’s richest turf race. Classique Legend returned last year to win The Shorts, finish second in the Premiere Stakes then unleash a memorable performance to win The Everest, careering away from his rivals to win by nearly three lengths in 1m8.27s. A brilliant recent trial win has the popular grey favourite to defend his The Everest title.


Br m Bel Esprit-Helsinge

Trainer: Peter Moody. Jockey: Luke Nolen

Record: 25 starts 25 wins

Black Caviar was the closest thing to racing perfection. An invincible sprinting machine who would break the hearts of chasing rivals with her sheer speed and acceleration. She started in 25 races and won them all, 15 at Group 1 level including two TJ Smith Stakes, three Lightning Stakes and her famous win in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. Trained by Peter Moody and ridden in 22 of her races by Luke Nolen, Black Caviar was simply unbeatable. There were only two occasions in her career when rivals got to within a length of her at the finish – the 2009 Danehill Stakes at Flemington and 2012 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. It was later found she was injured in those wins and did not race again for months, while at Royal Ascot, Nolen famously stopped riding near the line too. Black Caviar’s wins in the TJ Smith Stakes in 2011 and 2013 were among her finest. In her first TJ, Hay List was in supreme form and pinched a big lead at the top of the straight. It was going to take something special to run him down with Black Caviar accelerating so quickly she swept past her rival to win by nearly three lengths. The mighty mare was so good, she was elevated into the Hall of Fame before her race career had ended.

10. VAIN

Ch c Wikes-Elated

Trainer: Jim Moloney. Jockey: Pat Hyland

Record: 14 starts 12 wins, 2 seconds

Vain was a powerhouse sprinting phenomenon who won most of his races by massive margins before injury cut short his career. A winner of 12 races (and two seconds) from 14 starts, Vain was trained by Jim Moloney and ridden for the majority of his career by Pat Hyland. A freakish two-year-old, the chestnut won six of his seven starts in his debut season including the 1969 Golden Slipper by four lengths and the Champagne Stakes by 10 lengths. As a spring three-year-old, Vain won the Freeway Stakes and Ascot Vale Stakes before a shock loss to Kiwi champ Daryl’s Joy in the Moonee Valley Stakes. Vain proved this defeat was an aberration when he thrashed Daryl’s Joy by three lengths in the Caulfield Guineas.

But Vain was saving the best to last. He won three races against older horses during Melbourne Cup Week at Flemington beginning on Derby Day with his famous 12 lengths romp in the Craven A Stakes, a record winning margin for a Group 1 handicap. He backed up on Oaks Day to win the Linlithgow Stakes in track record time and two days later he won the George Adams Handicap under 55.5kg.


Ch c Kaoru Star-Promising

Trainer: Max Lees. Jockey:John Wade

Record: 17 starts 13 wins, 3 seconds

Luskin Star – the very mention of his name conjures memories of a striking chestnut accelerating away from arguably the best-ever Golden Slipper field in 1977 to win by a massive seven lengths. This incredible colt swept the juvenile triple crown that year with his three lengths win in the AJC Sires Produce Stakes before taking out the Champagne Stakes by six lengths. Luskin Star won another two majors in Brisbane that winter before returning in spring to win the Cameron Handicap and Caulfield Guineas. He ran in the Cox Plate but failed to stay. He was then sold as a stallion prospect and transferred from Max Lees to Bart Cummings for his final race campaign where he won the Expressway Stakes, Phar Lap Stakes and a brilliant win in The Galaxy.


Bay c Rubick-Sin Sin Sin

Trainer: Chris Waller. Jockey: Glen Boss

Record: 8 starts 4 wins, 3 seconds

Yes Yes Yes, the colt with the unusual name, showed he was a supreme sprinting talent with his 2019 The Everest win. It was a gamble by trainer Chris Waller and owners Coolmore to run their inexperienced three-year-old against seasoned, tough, older sprinters but a good second in the Golden Rose by Yes Yes Yes convinced connections to contest The Everest.

Champion jockey Glen Boss settled Yes Yes Yes back near the rear of the field until well into the straight where the colt unleashed a stunning burst of acceleration to storm past a crack field to win The Everest in 1m7.32s – the fastest time ever run over the Randwick 1200m. Yes Yes Yes then suffered a career-ending injury and was retired to stud.

Originally published as The Wonder Everest form guide: every runner’s performance in detail



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