Chittick relishing opportunity of a lifetime

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  • October 11, 2023
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By Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Pride will be an over-riding emotion for Mark Chittick when I Wish I Win goes to the post for Saturday’s A$20 million The TAB Everest (1200m) at Randwick.

The Waikato Stud principal races the homebred son of resident stallion Savabeel with Peter Moody, who trains the heavily supported five-year-old with Katherine Coleman.

Chittick and wife Pippa landed in Sydney on Tuesday to attend last evening’s barrier draw with I Wish I Win, who will run in the Trackside slot for the New Zealand TAB and partner Entain, to jump from the inside gate.

“Pip and I had to get over here just a little bit earlier for the barrier draw and the rest are coming over on Thursday,” he said. “All the family will be here, probably another 20 to come on Thursday.

“It’s quite incredible and we’ve obviously raced some great horses and had great success and really enjoyed it, but this is a very well named race because it is a hell of a hill to climb, it certainly is the pinnacle.”

Chittick will be kept busy in the lead-up to Saturday’s event with the social side of Everest week.

“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime and the horse is giving us some incredible experiences,” he said.

“There’s lunches, dinners and balls and the human preparation going into this race seems to be a whole lot more intense than the horse’s prep.

“Hopefully, we can turn up there on Saturday and get a good result for New Zealand.”

I Wish I Win triumphed in the Gr.1 TJ Smith (1200m) at Randwick in the autumn before a spell and, on his return, Moody made the bold decision to give the gelding one preparatory run when third in the Gr.1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield in early September.

“It may not have been conventional, but at the end of the day it’s what Peter wanted to do and he’s got the horse spot on and I think it’s been an ideal preparation,” Chittick said.

“He had his last gallop on Tuesday morning and Luke (Nolan) rode him. He was very happy and said I Wish I Win was very free and a very happy horse.”

It’s already been a rollercoaster last few days for Chittick with Dundeel’s son Super Seth opening his stallion account when Poetic Champion blitzed his rivals at Hawera last Saturday.

The Waikato Stud-bred and raced Skew Wiff was then scratched after becoming fractious in the barrier before her Australian debut in the Gr.2 Rose Of Kingston Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.

“That was the highs and lows and it’s been a long road with Super Seth,” Chittick said.

“He was a high-priced purchase after winning the Caulfield Guineas (Gr.1, 1600m) four years ago and when you take on a high-profile horse like him as a stallion on the farm, it certainly puts you under a lot of pressure.

“When you get your first winner, especially at this early stage, and it wins like it did, it certainly was an enjoyable bottle of very good champagne afterwards as some of that pressure was relieved.”

The Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) winner Skew Wiff will now have to trial to stewards’ satisfaction before racing again for trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson.

“It was a real shame because she’s not been an easy mare and Te Akau and Opie (Bosson) have done a fantastic job to get the best out of her,” Chittick said.

“They had avoided these problems so for that to have happened last Saturday was very unfortunate.

“She will trial on Monday and hopefully she will be passed to race and if she is.

“Mark is talking about going to the Tristarc Stakes (Gr.2, 1400m) on October 21. If she doesn’t pass, then obviously she will be coming home.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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