AFL Legend and Essendon and GWS coaching great Kevin Sheedy will be the face of The MRC Everest Series campaign, Melbourne Racing Club (MRC) announced on Tuesday.
Following the announcement last month that MRC had procured the Australian Turf Club-owned slot in The TAB Everest, MRC has built a four-stage series of events, the MRC Everest Series, leading up to the October 19 race, with the winner of the Schillaci Stakes on Saturday 12 October set to run in the $14m race.
Sheedy will attend Ladbrokes Caulfield Guineas Day on Saturday 12 October where he will present the winner of the Schillaci Stakes and officially invite the connections to take part in The TAB Everest. He will then travel to Sydney to fly the flag for the Melbourne Racing Club at Royal Randwick and cheer the horse down the home straight.
Sheedy says there’s no better time to get behind Australian racing and the MRC.
“What the MRC has done here in getting on board with The Everest is a stroke of genius,” Sheedy said.
“The MRC Everest Series is all about engaging Melbourne and Sydney racegoers in what’s happening at Caulfield and in The Everest. It’s about encouraging racing fans, or those new to racing, to take part in both events.
“I am no stranger to the perceived Sydney v Melbourne rivalry, and the partnership between the Melbourne Racing Club and Australian Turf Club to bring together these two fantastic race days is the perfect example of collaboration resulting in a win-win for the industry.”
Having long had an interest in racing, as an owner and a punter, most notably as part owner of 2002 Blue Diamond winner Bel Esprit, Sheedy was a natural fit to head up the MRC Everest Series, said Josh Blanksby, MRC Chief Executive Officer.
“Not only is Kevin a great racing man, with an eye for a good horse, but he is also responsible for innovations in the sporting world that have succeeded in bringing Australians and lovers of sport closer together.
“At the MRC we like to think outside the box, approach racing differently, and ultimately want to see the very best horses, trainers and jockeys do great things on Australian soil. We knew we wanted someone who could embody the MRC spirit for us in Sydney and Kevin has that in spades.
“If I can’t be at Randwick on October 19 to back the Schillaci winner, I’m happy knowing that Sheedy will be there on our behalf, representing the Club and Caulfield in Sydney.”
Sheedy added, “I cannot wait to be in the Mounting Yard at Royal Randwick, flying the flag for Caulfield and cheering for the Schillaci winner on Saturday 19 October. Outside of Caulfield, where else would I want to be?”
About the MRC Everest Series
The MRC Everest Series incorporates four key races held at Caulfield:
1. Regal Roller Stakes (1200m), run on 17 August and won by Beegood Toya Mother
2. The Heath 1100, held on Saturday 31 August
3. Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m), held on Sunday 29 September
The winners of the above three lead-in races all receive a confirmed place in:
4. The Schillaci Stakes (1100m), to be run on Saturday 12 October
The winner of the Schillaci Stakes will be offered the MRC slot in The Everest.
Caulfield hosts the MRC Everest Series, picture Quentinjlang.com