Front running speedster Redzel is no certainty to set the pace as he chases back to back wins in the $13m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Redzel was first to the leave the barriers in last year’s The Everest but Kerrin McEvoy was then happy to sit at the girth of the flying Houtzen in the middle stages.
McEvoy let Redzel eyeball Houtzen on the home turn and once over the rise he released the brakes and the Peter and Paul Snowden trained sprinter went on to win the inaugural running of The Everest.
Redzel was at his flying best last start when he set a blistering pace out in front before running out of puff in the straight to finished fifth to Santa Anna Lane in the Group 2 $500,000 Santos Coffee Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on September 29.
Snowden admits that Redzel was underdone in the Premiere Stakes after missing a run in the Group 2 $200,000 Bowermans Office Furniture Shorts (1100m) at Randwick a fortnight earlier because of muscle soreness, but said that the six year old has come on in leaps and bounds since that run.
“If he was beaten five lengths last start I would be worried,’’ Peter Snowden said.
“But he was only beaten 2.1 lengths in track record time and he made the time, he did it all.
“It was plain to see in his last start that he hadn’t had a (barrier) trail going into that race and with the month between runs he raced very fresh.
“With the benefit of that run it should see him settle. I can see him relaxing and finding the line better.’’
Redzel has drawn the rails in the twelve horse field for The Everest and Snowden said that the gelding will take advantage of the inside gate but may not necessary end up in front.
“We are not going out there with a perceived plan to lead,’’ Peter Snowden said.
“It will depend on the tempo, as simple as that.’’
Snowden can see a lot of pace in the race and pinpointed the Lindsay Park trained Vega Magic who ran second to Redzel last year.
Vega Magic will wear the blinkers on Saturday and Snowden can see him wanting to go hard in the early stages of the race.
“I’ve been watching Vega Magic work, he is a pretty hard-going horse and he is wearing the blinkers,’’ Snowden said.
“If he jumps and goes way too hard, then he can be the bunny and we will tuck in behind.
“The good thing about our bloke is he will make his own luck. He will be up in the first three or four, give himself every chance and he doesn’t mind soft ground.’’
Redzel will have no worries handling the rain affected track after Randwick was rated a Heavy 9 on Friday morning after receiving 63.4mm of rain during the last week.
In an open betting race, Redzel is the joint $6.50 favourite for the The Everest at Ladbrokes.com.au with the Anthony Freedman trained Shoals ahead of Vega Magic at $8, Santa Ana Lane at $8.50 and Trapeze Artist at $9.