The Everest, the world's richest race on turf and the showpiece of the Sydney Spring Carnival, is now less than a month away.
The second edition of the race looks set to reach new heights, with punters, owners, trainers and jockeys all vying to be involved in a race which is fast becoming one of the most hyped events on the racing calendar.
In our second edition of the Everest series in the lead-up to the big race, we review the nominated runners, sorting out the contenders from the pretenders, and the runners who remain candidates for the few remaining slots.
Last year's winner firmed to favourite off the back of a dominant display in the Concorde Stakes.
Showing his class first-up over the 1000m trip was precisely what the connections were after. You would expect further improvement from the Snitzel gelding as he peaks towards the Everest on the 13th October.
One-time favourite, the Gerald Ryan trained stallion was forced to carry 61kg on a heavy track when first-up over 1300m.
Unfortunately for connections they had to run him in the bog or risk missing a run, and not being at peak fitness come grand final day.
Be under no illusion, he wasn't going around to break any record first-up and back onto a dry track second-up, the real Trapeze Artist will be on show.
A dominant winner of the TJ Smith, defeating Redzel, In Her Time, Brave Smash and English over the Randwick 1200m, it's likely he will start favourite come Everest Day.
Last year's Everest runner-up. Impressed punters with a first-up win over the Caulfield 1200m where he showed early speed and kicked away to win well.
His second-up effort in the Memsie Stakes was great, sitting up on-pace over a fast run 1400m. It was no surprise to see him labour over the last 100m.
Still looks a huge threat in the race and is now a realistic betting proposition out to $7 fixed odds.
Broke the Moonee Valley track record at his last start to capture the second last slot. Jumping from barrier one, he used plenty of fuel to hold the rail and lead them up.
Given the tough run, he was entitled to knock up late, but showed his talent burning the candle at both ends of the race.
He adds some serious spice to the race and if nothing else will run them along and ensure there is plenty of early speed.
In Her Time
Now with the Kris Lees stable, she sits on the fifth line of fixed odds betting.
We don't see her again until September 29, which will ensure she continues to drift in the market. She did run 0.10 seconds quicker than Redzel over the same distance on Everest Day.
Running third in his first-up run wouldn't phase connections. He's not proven fresh and will improve significantly at his next two runs.
Running third last year with an international jockey aboard was a good effort. Can be thereabouts this year but you'd want to see a big improvement at his second-up run before betting.
Santa Ana Lane
The winner of the G1 Goodwood and G1 Stradbroke last preparation. No doubt he's in career-best form, but he is yet to be competitive against Australia's top-rated gallopers.
Ran fifth in The Heath at Caulfield and would need to improve six lengths in his next two starts to run a place.
Ran a valiant third to Nature Strip in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes albeit just shy of 4 lengths behind. She will be much better suited to the Randwick 1200m and will no doubt improve through her preparation.
Would need to see a big run at her next start to entertain.
US Navy Flag
It's a difficult task for Australian sprinters to travel to the Northern hemisphere and the reverse trip would be no easier. Looks up against it given he has never met a field of this quality.
Was ordinary when first-up in the Concorde Stakes, running third to Redzel. She had an easy time of it in the lead but was run down by the new favourite of the Everest who put a big gap on his rivals.
The biggest disappointment from that run was seeing Kaepernick fly past her late. She will need to improve five to sixth lengths off that run to get close to these.
The Doomben 10,000 winner showed what she is capable of. She draws a good barrier and has opened up at a juicy price.
Drawn the rail in the 10,000, English was able to take a more forward position in the run and found herself within striking distance on the turn, before putting pay to none other than Redzel.
She's a bit unpredictable these days. Need to see her put in a worthy performance before pushing her into the "Contender" category. Let's see what she produces on Saturday.
Home of the Brave
Led them up in the Theo Marks and proved too strong for his rivals with a 2-length win.
The last remaining hope for Godolphin to gain a start in the race and should prove competitive if he gets the run.
Absolutely flew in the McEwen, running second to Nature Strip. Unlikely to get a slot based on her average effort in this race last year.
The ATC would love nothing more than the grey-flash to jump with them at his next barrier trial. If connections can find a way to make him jump, it will be a huge coup for the ATC, one that is sure to drive a capacity crowd for Everest day.