Another New Zealand operation has been mounted to scale the heights of Everest.
This time, it will be an attempt to rise to the top of the racing summit with I Wish I Win to carry Waikato Stud’s familiar stylised colours in the world’s richest race on turf.
The glamour son of Savabeel will contest the A$20 million The TAB Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 28 in the Trackside slot held by the New Zealand TAB, in partnership with Entain.
“In true Sir Edmund Hillary fashion, we’re going to give it a crack,” Waikato Stud principal Mark Chittick said.
“It’s been a very, very intense couple of months because I had to learn about the Everest process and I didn’t expect I would have to do that in my lifetime.
“We were talking to numerous people and we actually got quite close on a couple of occasions with other slot-holders.”
When Chittick was alerted to a possible Kiwi contender he knew that was the perfect fit for all concerned.
“We got a tap on the shoulder to hold fire because there could be something involving New Zealand and obviously that became hugely important to us,” he said.
“It developed from there and over the last month we went through negotiations and it all worked out seamlessly to head in a New Zealand direction.”
Chittick said he had been overwhelmed by an outpouring of congratulatory messages and support.
“The family and the whole team at Waikato Stud are extremely proud of the horse and the amount of texts and messages I’ve had from within the industry and outside has been incredible.
“It gave me the feeling that New Zealand is right behind the horse and this opportunity, it feels like the All Blacks have just made the World Cup final.”
I Wish I Win began his career at Matamata with former Te Akau Head Trainer Jamie Richards and was a two-time winner and placed at Group One level in the Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) and the Levin Classic (1600m).
He subsequently relocated to Peter Moody’s stable with the Pakenham trainer joining Waikato Stud in the ownership of the gelding.
I Wish I Win has since won four of his six starts, including the A$10 million Golden Eagle (1500m) and a last-start defeat of powerhouse three-year-old Giga Kick in the Gr.1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) in the autumn.
“He had about three weeks at the pre-trainers and been back at Peter’s stable for two weeks and he just looks magnificent,” Chittick said.
“Anybody who has had anything to do with this horse has fallen in love with him. Peter will just take it step by step and The Everest will probably be his second or third run in.
“It really is exciting, as I said it’s been an intense couple of months and I really wanted to get this right.
“It’s a lifetime opportunity, hopefully not just the once, and when the New Zealand flavour came along with Entain being involved in the industry in such a big way now it ticks all the boxes for a massive and positive move going forward for the New Zealand racing industry.”