Red’s win the right medicine

Sunday Mail - - SPORT - GLENN MCFARLANE MEL­BOURNE

PE­TER Pi­ras re­mains in the fight of his life, but noth­ing re­peat, noth­ing - was ever go­ing to stop him be­ing at Flem­ing­ton yes­ter­day to see Redzel, the horse he par­towns, quash any doubts about who was the best sprinter in Aus­tralia, if not the world.

Never mind the fact Pi­ras barely slept on Fri­day night. Or still faces a daily bat­tle with his health.

Hav­ing fought can­cer, bone-mar­row trans­plants and kid­ney dis­ease for a num­ber of years, the other “af­flic­tion” in his life - own­ing race­horses has proven to be the great­est med­i­ca­tion he could ever have hoped for. It hasn’t cured him, but it has kept him sane through­out the tough­est of times.

A month ago, Redzel won the in­au­gu­ral Ever­est, a man­u­fac­tured $10 mil­lion race, with a $5.8 mil­lion cheque to the win­ner. Yet still there were doubters.

But yes­ter­day, against a sim­i­lar field of op­po­nents, as well as few new kids on the block, the horse they call ‘Red’ beat the best again to claim the Group 1 Dar­ley Clas­sic.

This time the own­ers, con­sist­ing of po­lice of­fi­cers, school teach­ers, a doc­tor, a taxi driver, a con­creter, an elec­tri­cian, a phar­ma­cist, a for­mer NSW cricket coach and a se­cu­rity guard, won “only” $600,000 for first prize. But this wasn’t about fi­nan­cial re­wards, it was more about the horse’s val­i­da­tion as the best speed­ster in the land.

“This is not about the money, mate, this is about the horse,” Pi­ras said. “He has proven he is the best now.

“It is un­real what this horse has done for me.’’

THE BEST: Redzel rid­den by Ker­rin McEvoy wins the Dar­ley Clas­sic at Flem­ing­ton yes­ter­day.

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