By Brad Gray
At Royal Randwick
Redzel has skipped turf legends Sunline, Northerly and Makybe Diva in the prizemoney stakes after claiming his second victory in The TAB Everest.
The six-year-old took his prize money total to $15,372,000 after claiming $6 million of the $13 million Everest pool, and now sits behind only wonder mare Winx.
Redzel led from start to finish in The TAB Everest
Many were left doubting the defending champion after he raced fiercely in the Premiere Stakes, and knocked up to run fifth, but as we see time and time again with Peter and Paul Snowden, the father-son training duo are hard to beat come grand final day.
“To do it once I thought we were very lucky but again it is just unbelievable,’ said Peter Snowden, “I knew we had the horse. I was confident he would make improvement. (Kerrin McEvoy) judged the pace perfectly to give him the chance to finish off hard and the last furlong was his best. I’m so proud of him.”
McEvoy, who has ridden Redzel, the horse known as Richie around the stables, has been inseparable with the gelding since guiding the sprinter to victory in last year’s The TAB Everest.
“This is euphoria at its best,” the jockey gushed, “It is such an electric feeling. I was really happy there was a bit of rain around and he did the rest. It is a huge buzz to win it again, unbelievable.”
“From the one gate, that was Plan A, to control it from the front. That’s what this horse is able to do. He loved the ground and is such a little warrior. He is a joy to be a part of. He is a little gem, he is my little gem.”
Trapeze Artist chased bravely in second, with Gerald Ryan revealing he thought he was half a chance of winning the feature half way down the straight.
“Just inside the furlong I did, I thought he’d get there, Redzel is just a superior wet tracker,” said Ryan.
“It’s not as good as winning but it nearly is.”
James Cummings, with a beaming smile, echoed that sentiment after a clever Tommy Berry ride, where he guided Osborne Bulls to the outside fence, claimed third ahead of Le Romain.
“Extremely, extremely thrilling. I’ve never run a better third in my life,” said Cummings.
Meanwhile, it will be left to trainer Greg Hickman to wonder what could have been with Sydney Stakes winner Pierata, who towelled up his rivals and recorded a time 7.5 lengths superior to The TAB Everest, albeit with rain falling between the two races.
“It’s all to do with the contracts,” said trainer Greg Hickman, “What you deal with, we thought we might get over a bit more ground but maybe he doesn’t get a strong mile at that level. Winning over 1200m with blinkers on, his attitude was a lot better today.”
A monster crowd of 40,578 packed into Royal Randwick.
“It’s amazing. It’s just going to get bigger and bigger,” said Snowden.