The Triple Crown Syndicated Redzel heads up the nominations for the Group 2 $500,000 Hyland Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on Saturday.
The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Redzel is one of eleven sprinters nominated for the 1000m dash and the five year old Snitzel gelding is set to take his place in the field.
Redzel resumed from a spell for a second to the Lindsay Park trained Redkirk Warrior in the Group 1 $750,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 17 and Triple Crown Syndications’ C0-Director Chris Ward said that the number one rated sprinter would run second up in the Challenge Stakes.
“He will run this Saturday in the Challenge Stakes and then we will way up whether he goes to the William Reid from there but the T J Smith back in Sydney is the ultimate goal for the prep,” Chris Ward told racing.com.
The Group 1 $500,000 William Reid Stakes (1200m) is run at The Valley on March 23 while the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) is run at Randwick on the first day of The Championships on April 7.
Redzel suffered his first defeat from his last seven starts when a nose second as the odds on favourite to Redkirk Warrior who is set to run this weekend in the Group 1 $1.25m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington.
C0-Directer Michael Ward said that the report back from trainer Peter Snowden was all positive and Redzel has taken plenty of improvement from his first up run down the Flemington straight.
“Peter was just saying to me the other day that he has never seen him look better in his career so I think around the bend at Randwick it will take a pretty good one to beat him, I think,” Michael Ward said.
Among Redzel’s last seven starts are two Group 1 wins in the Group 1 $700,000 James Boag’s Premium Doomben 10000 (1200m) at Doomben during the Brisbane Winter Carnival and in the Group 1 $1m Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on the last day of the 2017 Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Redzel also created history as the winner of the inaugural running of the $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick during the 2017 Sydney Spring Carnival.
Redzel will have plenty of tough opposition on Saturday with Group 1 winners English, Takedown and Terravista among the Challenge Stakes nominations along with the well performed Ball Of Muscle, Derryn, Houtzen, Jungle Edge, Super Too and Viridine.
The nominations deadline for the Challenge Stakes have been extended until 11am on Tuesday, March 6 with the final field to be released on Wednesday morning, March 7.
Early betting for the Challenge Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au sees Redzel as the very short $1.50 favourite ahead of English at $6 and Houtzen at $8.50.
Pre-post betting for the 2018 Challenge Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $1.50 Redzel, $6 English, $8.50 Houtzen, $11 Viridine, $15 Terravista, $26 Ball Of Muscle, Takedown, $51 Derryn, Jungle Edge, $61 Super Too, $201 The Mission.