The Everest champion Redzel is on track for a third victory in the rich $14 million sprint with a third successive win in the Group 3 $160,000 Forum Concorde Stakes (1200m) at Randwick today.
The Peter and Paul Snowden trained Redzel is the winner of the first two runnings of The Everest (1200m) and will run in Yu Long Investements’ slot in this year’s edition with prizemoney of $14 million at Randwick on October 19.
Regular partner Kerrin McEvoy had Redzel quickly out of the gates and took up his usual position in front ahead of Queensland sprinter Zoustyle with Nature Strip over racing in third spot.
McEvoy had Redzel travelling on the bit up and over the rise and the seven year old had a kick at the 250m mark and had enough in reserve to hold out the fast finishing Pierata who came from last on the home turn.
“It’s great to see him back. He had his doubters after last prep but it is great to see him come back and do it first up. He’s making that little race his own, that’s his third one, it was a pleasing effort there today,” McEvoy said.
Even though Redzel was the winner of the last two runnings of the Concorde Stakes, he was sent out at the juicy odds of $7 with Pierata even a longer price in the betting at $8 while the Kris Lees trained third placegetter Graff was the outsider of the six horse field at $9.50.
The Chris Waller trained Nature Strip was sent out as the $2.30 favourite and wound up in fourth spot after James McDonald had to fight with the hard going sprinter in the middle stages.
Co-trainer Peter Snowdeb said that it was pleasing to see Redzel back to his best and he is no on target for a third The Everest.
“I was pretty happy. When he came up underneath Kerrin at the 800m then through the 600m and 500m and hadn’t moved on him you knew he was in it. When Nature Strip came around him it put it to him but he hadn’t spent a penny. It played into our hands today. Still a bit to go,” Paul Snowden said.
“Probably knew when he came back in. It’s hard for a carnival horse to get a break. He had a long break. We had a slow build up and good foundation this time. He loves the stable life, he thrives on it.”
“You sort of can’t hide the excitement we have in the morning on how he’s going. It was very pleasing to see. We have a goal and we have to get there. We have a lot of respect for the other runners. It only gets harder from now on. Was just saying to the guys he ran a similar time to last two years. It’s all about getting back to where we were. I feel that we’ve got him there.”
Snowden is unsure what will be Redzel’s next Everest lead up run but said it would either be the Group 2 $500,000 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on September 21 or the Group 2 $500,000 Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on October 5.
“We’ve won it (The Everest) with both options. To the Shorts in a few weeks or wait for the Premiere with a trial in between. We won’t make that call until this time next week and see how he comes through it.”