James McDonald has snared the ride on Menari in the $13 million Everest.
Trainer Gerald Ryan says McDonald has committed to the George Altomonte-owned Menari who will run in the race for a group comprising Max Whitby, Neil Werrett and Steve McCann.
Ryan says McDonald was the top choice among all connections for Menari who is at $11 in The Everest on October 13 with stablemate Trapeze Artist the $4.50 favourite in early markets.
“James has first refusal on the ride and was the unanimous choice among all concerned,” Ryan said.
“We had a list of five and he was on top with Mr Altomonte, the slot holders and myself.
“James has been out to Rosehill to ride him.”
Menari has not raced since his third to Trapeze Artist in the Golden Rose in September after which he underwent a throat operation when he was found to be getting about 20 per cent of the air he should have been.
He is scheduled to trial on August 10 and again two weeks later before his return in the Group Three Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on September 1.
“He weighs around 612 kilos and has been pleasing everyone in his work,” Ryan said.
“He has no problems with his breathing and all is going well.”
Trapeze Artist, the winner of the TJ Smith Stakes and All Aged Stakes in the autumn, is scheduled to run a barrier trial on Monday week at Rosehill and will again be ridden by Tye Angland.