Bob Peters has been coming to Sydney from Perth for 40 years for the races but this is his first experience with The Everest.
The build-up didn’t start when he arrived in Sydney this week, rather several months ago when he mooted sending Arcadia Queen and Enticing Star to NSW for the race.
“When we decided to send the horses over here, I couldn’t have imagined how big this race would be,” Peters said.
“It has continually been in the news since they left and it feels more like a year than a couple of months. When they get a slot, when they run; it seemed like everyone was interested in them. I haven’t experienced anything like that before.
“To have one in it is an amazing experience, but losing one along the way was disappointing.”
Arcadia Queen, the winner of six of seven starts, will line up for Peters in The Everest after making a stunning Sydney debut in the Theo Marks Stakes last month. Enticing Star will visit Justify in the next couple of days to start her breeding career. She was retired when she failed in the Golden Pendant.
“I didn’t think there was much between them,” Peters said. “But that’s racing, you find out how they are going on the track. We will find out a bit more about Arcadia Queen on Saturday.”
Peters’ cerise colours will not carry the usual white-crossed sashes. They will be replaced by The Star logo of the slot holder.
“Doing the deal [with The Star] was interesting because it is something I haven’t had to do before,” Peters said. “To have someone come and say ‘we want your horse’, it’s pretty good.
“Arcadia Queen has the potential to be the best horse I have had, but she still has to do it … but they were very keen to have her.
“I have had a lot of very good horses but not many of them have been able to win a group 1 like the Kingston Town Stakes in six starts.”
Peters’ best horse Old Comrade won four group 1s. He can see a bit of him in the way Arcadia Queen goes about her racing.
“They just want to win. She is better than him at the same point but she still has a long way to get near him as a horse,” Peters said. “If she wins on Saturday, it would be a good start. She has to put it on the track like he did and win those big races, but she has the talent to do it.”
Peters is one of the leading owner-breeders in the country. He chose the mating for Arcadia Queen after buying a share in Triple Crown-winning two-year-old Pierro.
“I loved him as a racehorse. It takes a special horse to win a Triple Crown like he did. We have seen that in America as well, so I thought he would be a good mating with a Redoute’s Choice mare, so that is how she came about,” Peters said.
“It is wonderful to see what she has done so far, and it is exciting what is ahead of her.”
Peters sent Arcadia Queen to the Sydney stable of Chris Waller after she swept through her first preparation in Perth, concluding with a group 1. His thought was to chase the Golden Eagle, with the feeling The Everest might be a race she could get a run in along the way.
“The Eagle is why she came over here. When I was talking to Chris about coming, I mentioned that she would need a couple of runs on the way to it,” Peters said.
“I saw this day as a way to get to the Eagle, a lead-up, and if we could run in The Everest it would be good.
“She is there now. I think it’s the best edition of the race and she will need some luck because she will be coming from back in the field. I think coming up that hill at Randwick will help her but she will have to be special to win it.” – Chris Roots, Sydney Morning Herald.