Randwick specialist Redzel is expected to excel when he returns to his favourite track in the 2019 Group 1 $2.5m Aquis T J Smith Stakes (1200m) on Saturday.
Redzel is the winner of eight of his fourteen appearances at Randwick as well and four placings and regular rider Kerrin McEvoy is expecting the top line sprinter to return to best in the star studded sprint on Day One of The Championships.
The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Redzel blotted his copy book last start with an uncharacteristic eighth behind Nature Strip in the Group 1 $700,000 OOH!Media Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 23.
McEvoy said that he had plenty of legitimate excuses for Redzel’s disappointing effort in The Galaxy when he had to carry the top weight 59.5kg as well as having to overcome interference at the 600m.
“For mine you just put a line through his last start. We got a bad bump at the 600m and it cost us momentum, he got unbalanced and that’s always hard when you’re in a handicap with a big weight,” McEvoy told Racing New South Wales News Desk.
Redzel was beaten fair and square by Trapeze Artist when second in last year’s T J Smith Stakes but McEvoy is keen on his chances to reverse the placings this year.
“This has always been his main aim and you can’t forget that,’’ McEvoy said.
“It’s a great race but I wouldn’t be jumping off him just yet.’’
Redzel is a go forward horse but with the likes of Ball Of Muscle and Sunlight drawn to his outside, McEvoy is coy about what he going to do from barrier five in the eleven horse T J Smith Stakes field.
“He’s best when he’s up near the front of the van,’’ McEvoy said.
“It’s all about trying to obtain the best position and making the most of your luck. I know if I can ride him how I want he’ll be very hard to beat.’’
Redzel is a three times winner over the Randwick 1200m course which includes his back to back wins in The Everest in 2017 ($10m) and 2018 ($13m).
The T J Smith Stakes has develped into a wide open betting affair with six of the eleven runners under the $10 mark at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Gerald Ryan trained Trapeze has been installed as the $4.20 favourite to win back to back T J Smith Stakes while Redzel is sharing the fifth line of betting at $8.50 with multiple Group 1 winning filly Sunlight.