Tony Pike thinks the 5-year-old can win the Schillaci.

The connections of Kiwi sprinter The Bostonian might still get their shot at the mountain top.

Because if the Cambridge sprinting star can win the A$400,000 Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday he is likely to head to the A$14 million ($14.95m) The Everest at Randwick on Saturday week.

Slots in The Everest are incredibly hard to come by, with many locked up months ago, but if he wins on Saturday The Bostonian's connections will get first refusal for the slot now owned by the Melbourne Racing Club after they purchased one of two vacant Everest slots in July.


They announced soon after that the Schillaci would become a win-and-your-are-in race for The Everest but they probably expected to draw a stronger field.

Last start Moir Stakes winner Nature Strip was the likely favourite for Saturday's race but has pulled out as he is likely to get The Everest slot vacated by the retirement of Enticing Star while most of the other slots are already decided so the horses guaranteed their spot are understandably resting up this weekend.

All of which plays beautifully into the hooves of The Bostonian, even more so after he drew perfectly at barrier three over the 1100m.

After his group one double at the Queensland carnival, The Bostonian is the highest rated horse in the Schillaci and third favourite and while trainer Tony Pike isn't getting carried away he thinks the five-year-old can win the group two and earn the Everest spot.

"Obviously major sprint races during the Victorian carnival aren't easy for Kiwi gallopers to win but we have beaten a lot of these horses before," says Pike. "We couldn't be happier with the horse. He has come through his first up run in great shape and galloped super during the week."

The Bostonian only finished ninth in the Moir fresh up last start but was trapped wide for the entire 1000m and he was still making good ground in the straight. This weekend the step up in distance, drop in class and better draw all suggest he can win.

That would leave Pike and owner David Archer with a big but maybe easy decision to make, whether to take up the offer of an Everest slot knowing the race was only seven days later and in a different state.

But Pike admits it would be awfully hard to turn down and Archer is always up for even the most challenging assignments with his horses so if The Bostonian wins on Saturday and comes through the race well, you can expect him to become the first New Zealand-trained starter in The Everest, which will be run for the third time next week.


"Obviously we aren't putting the cart before the horse because he has to win first," says Pike. "But if he does it would be hard to turn your back on The Everest. It is huge money and a huge occasion and it would also be great for our industry to have a New Zealand horse involved.

"The way the race is structured New Zealand horses may not get many chances to start in the race and David and I have already discussed, just in case he wins this Saturday."

The Everest has been a massive promotional success for Sydney racing, even if some of the claims of its importance matching the Melbourne Cup are, at best, silly and at worst, childish.

As fun as it has been for Kiwi punters to watch the A$14m sprint, interest from the New Zealand racing public would skyrocket should one of ours make it into the race.

So there is a lot more than just the winning stake on the line at Caulfield on Saturday.

The Bostonian is just one of the Kiwis stars flying the flag at Caulfield on Saturday with Madison County topweight for the A$500,000 Toorak Handicap while Glory Days and The Chosen One contest the A$400,000 Herbert Power.



• The winner of Saturday's Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield gets invited to the A$14 million Everest in Sydney next week.
• Cambridge sprinter The Bostonian is third favourite and if invited would be likely to start in The Everest.
• He headlines a huge day for Kiwi gallopers at Caulfield and in Sydney this weekend.