The Everest gives Angland renewed ambition

Tom Walter - Thursday October 12

For jockeys like Tye Angland the $10 million Everest is a realistic alternative to climbing the bona fide pinnacle of racing – the Melbourne Cup.

Fell Swoop runs for Inglis in the first edition of The Everest at Randwick on Saturday.
Photo: Darryl Sherer

Angland, who stands close to six feet tall and seldom weighs less than 56kg, has scarce opportunity to ride in the Melbourne Cup as most runners are handicapped below 55kg.

"I've only ridden in one, finished 11th on Opinion a couple of years ago," Angland said.

"It is hard for me to pick up a ride in the Melbourne Cup because of my weight."

The Everest on the other hand, is a weight-for-age contest, and worth $2.2 million more to the winner than Australia's signature race.

Angland's mount in the inaugural running of The Everest is the Matt Dale-trained Fell Swoop, suitably weighted at 59kg.

Fell Swoop is considered one of the rank outsiders in the field of 12 at odds as high as $67 but ask Angland if he cares.

"It's only a number," Angland said.

"It's always nice to look at the paper and see you're on a horse that's single figure odds but in reality, it doesn't matter once the gates open.

"I just try to focus on my horse and giving it the best chance to beat the opposition."

The Canberra-based galloper, which will run as the representative for auction house Inglis, has the longest winless sequence in the race, stretching back to April 2016, but has been placed five times at Group I level, including a second and third behind Chautauqua in the last two editions of the TJ Smith Stakes which is run over the Everest course.

And for the first time in his career, Fell Swoop will race with winkers on, a gear change that could prove the missing ingredient for the six-year-old gelding.

"He's the roughie in the race but he doesn't have to improve much to win," Angland said.

"Hopefully winkers just get that little bit more out of him.

"He's stood up every time in a high pressure 1200m at Randwick and I'm confident he's going to run a big race third-up.

"I don't want to focus too much on the money but I want to get the job done.

"It could be career changing for a jockey like myself considering the international coverage of the race."

Angland has been riding in inspired form since the season renewed on August 1, annexing two Group Is among 22 other winners state-wide.

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