By Ray Hickson
Dual TAB Everest champion Redzel proved to jockey Kerrin McEvoy he’s on track to give the threepeat his best shot with a rousing trial win at Gosford on Tuesday.
With the blinkers on, the seven-year-old accounted for fellow TAB Everest contender In Her Time in the 1000m heat with Bobbing, who will contest The Kosciuszko, running into third.
McEvoy said everything about the trial points to Redzel being in perfect shape with a week and a half until the $14m TAB Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick.
“It was just what I wanted to see,’’ he said.
“He was nice and sharp out and that was just the amount of work Peter and Paul (Snowden) wanted to do with him.’’
Despite having two TAB Everests in the bag, over $15 million in prizemoney in the bank, plus a couple of Group 1s it seems Redzel will continue to be the Everest underdog.
Redzel defeats In Her Time in a Gosford trial on October 8
In 2017 he had an unbeaten spring yet still started $8.50 in the inaugural TAB Everest then last year a hiccup in the Premiere Stakes saw him start the same price with the same result.
While the gelding showed he was back with a first-up Concorde Stakes win he was run down by Pierata in The Shorts (1100m) on September 21 and sits on the fourth line of betting at $7.
“Obviously he is a year older, Peter and Paul are managing him a bit differently this year and as we’ve seen it’s been a case of a different sprinter winning each week,’’ McEvoy said.
“It’s barrier draws, conditions on the day and how the race unfolds that will determine the result.’’
McEvoy says he doesn’t like to get ahead of himself when it comes to any big races so is trying not to think too much about whether Redzel can again be the first to make it up Everest.
All he knows at this point is the campaign has gone off without a hitch and the horse is going as good as ever.
“It feels out of my reach but who would have thought we’d win two,’’ he said.
“We’re going to go out there and see what comes of it. It would be a fantastic achievement by everyone involved with the horse if we come up trumps and win another one.’’
If Redzel is on target then In Her Time’s trainer Kris Lees is encouraged in his belief that the mare is tracking well as she attempts to win the Everest first-up.
In Her Time has only had three starts since she finished seventh in the 2018 edition and Lees liked what he saw as she finished 1.3 lengths behind her rival at Gosford.
“He’s a wonderful horse the winner and he’s back in good order so that’s what we wanted to see from her,’’ he said.
“It’s hard to get a strong line on them when you’re going in first-up but she was strong through the line so that is good to see.
“She had a little blow and she will take a lot of benefit out of that. I think we’re in play.’’
Lees said In Her Time, $17 in the TAB Everest market, will have her final gallop next week.
Meanwhile, last year’s third placegetter Osborne Bulls is out of contention for Godolphin’s slot in the TAB Everest after trainer James Cummings elected to spell the gelding.
Osborne Bulls pulled up lame after running last in the Premiere Stakes and Cummings said the horse continued to show lameness upon returning to the stable so is pulling up stumps.
That leaves Golden Rose winner Bivouac and triple Group 1 winner Alizee as Godolphin’s leading contenders for their slot.