Leading into the Moir Stakes a fortnight ago, She Will Reign part-owner Andrew Pieper was nervous the whole day of the race. So it’s understandable the nerves settled in a little earlier this time as the filly prepares for the world’s richest race ever run on turf – The Everest.
She Will Reign, this year’s Golden Slipper winner, is a $4.80 favourite for the $10 million race at Royal Randwick which, if anything, has made the nerves worse for Tamworth-based Pieper.
“It [nervousness] started this week,” Pieper told The Leader on Thursday.
“It hasn’t been pretty sleep wise but it’s a good excitement, not a bad one.
“With the nerves, it feels like the Golden Slipper again. That night I was terrible – I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t drink.”
Wife Bianca has been by Pieper’s side the whole way through the journey and it’s a good thing she has.
While the nervous excitement kicks in for Pieper early, his better half keeps it together. Well, up until the race jumps, anyway.
“[Bianca’s] not as bad during the week,” Pieper said.
“Probably five or 10 minutes before [the race starts], for both of us, the nerves really kick in and when the barriers open it’s terrible until the race is finished.”
Not that the Piepers would change anything, though.
She Will Reign, who was a $20,000 yearling, has won $2,859,150 in just six starts which consists of five wins and a second.
The Piepers be at Randwick on Saturday to watch their filly go around with the other owners and if all goes to plan, have a little party at the finish line.
“We’ve got 20 owners and then wives and friends who all turn up,” Pieper said.
“We do go off. It’s a bit like a mosh pit at the winning post. It’s a great atmosphere and it proves you don’t have to be a millionaire to get into racing and the big racing as well.”
Pieper rates She Will Reign a good chance from barrier two and he believes the filly will claim a spot in the top five, at the very least.
He said if She Will Reign was sitting in a good spot around the bend, she would have every chance of winning.
“200 out would be a nice time to go to the front,” he said.
“If we can get to the front, we’ll be looking out for Chautauqua.”