One has an Everest slot, the other is chasing one but the class of both Gytrash and Fasika shone through when they went head-to-head in a Warwick Farm barrier trial.
Making his first public appearance since arriving in Sydney early this week, South Australian sprinter Gytrash was put through his paces by Jason Collett in Friday’s 799m heat.
He wobbled around the turn but once Collett balanced him in the straight, Gytrash surged late to finish a short half-head second to Fasika, who was equally impressive.
Trainer Gordon Richards confirmed Gytrash would head to the Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on September 5 where he will meet Everest favourite Nature Strip.
“He wasn’t out there to break any records, just to get comfortable with the environment and the clockwise way of racing so I’m very happy with the way he went and he pulled up extra well,” Richards told Sky Thoroughbred Central.
“He will run in the Concorde in two weeks time. He’s got to run against Nature Strip and a few of them but it will be testing and it will be a measuring stick for him.”
Fasika was lining up for her second trial and again pleased trainer Joe Pride ahead of her return in the Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill a week after the Concorde.
Pride is keeping an open mind on the mare’s spring program as connections sweat on the Group One All Aged Stakes placegetter gaining an Everest start.
“We’re still really keen on getting an Everest spot if we can but we’re going to let her do the talking and that will be on Sheraco day and she will be there for everybody to see,” Pride said.
Fasika’s stablemate Ball Of Muscle showed his customary speed to win his heat by 8-1/2 lengths and he will resume in the Concorde Stakes for what is likely to be the veteran’s final racing campaign.
Gytrash has been confirmed for the Inglis slot in the $15 million The Everest, run at Randwick on October 17.