Much to the delight of his central west-based connections, Redzel once again proved exactly why he’s considered of Australia’s great all-time sprinters last weekend.
The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained six-year-old dictated terms from start to finish in Saturday’s second edition of The Everest, saluting by more than a length on a sodden Randwick track to back up his roaring victory in last year’s inaugural running.
Saturday's win combined with last year’s and his handful of other Group 1 victories pushes Redzel's career prizemoney to more than $15 million, and sparked raucous celebrations for his owners – which include Orange’s Frank Weymouth, Greg Fletcher, Adam Cornish and Kevin Tandy along with Parkes’ Scott Rayner and Stuart Milne – which lasted well into the wee hours of Sunday morning.
“I can’t believe it. To win it once I thought we were lucky, but to win it again it is unbelievable,” Peter Snowden said.
“It’s great to do it for the owners but also to do it for the slotholder … who has a lot of horses with us and you can see how happy is. This is like have two winners for us.”
Redzel had the perfect preparation, but it wasn’t as smooth as the lead-in of 12 months ago.
He missed The Shorts after being cast in his box in the morning and faded to finish fifth in the Premiere Stakes last-start.
“A lot of people wrote him off but he was just so fresh after that four weeks off,” Snowden said.
“He has been back to his old self and he showed that out there.”
“(Jockey) Kerrin (McEvoy) came up with a masterful ride. He judged the pace perfectly and gave himself every chance to finish off hard and that last part was a thrill, it was special.”
Incredibly, McEvoy admitted he had to stop himself from thinking The Everest was over at the halfway point.
The last thing Paul Snowden told him when he legged him on Redzel was “just hang on to him”. At the 600-metre mark those words were ringing in the champion jockey’s ears.
“I had a stranglehold on him at the 600. I had to stop myself from thinking, ‘how good is this’,” McEvoy said.
“It was unbelievable how well he was going. I knew – but I had to ride my race.
“He just loved that ground and he is so much better on it.”
Redzel ($8.50) held the rail from the inside draw and even though Le Romain and Vega Magic were to his outside, there was no pressure. McEvoy kept him under until the turn and when he topped the rise, he Redzel go. He raced a couple of lengths clear and never looked in danger of defeat.
Trapeze Artist ($10) made a surge in the straight to get within one-and-a-quarter lengths of Redzel, while Osborne Bulls ($21) went to the outside fence and finished third one-and-a-half lengths away.
McEvoy was more measured than his roaring return last year, but he showed how special The Everest has become, with a crowd of 40,587 flocking to Randwick.
“This is euphoria at its best. It is such an electric feeling,” McEvoy said.
“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.”
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