Soft track makes Red vul­ner­a­ble

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - NEIL EVANS

THIS would truly send Spring into or­bit for hoop of the mo­ment Ker­rin McEvoy.

Dual Ever­est-win­ning pow­er­house Redzel steps back down the Flem­ing­ton straight to­mor­row in an at­tempt to nail 1200m Ever­est-VRC Sprint Clas­sic dou­ble for the sec­ond straight year.

But for all his pub­lic ado­ra­tion and fresh mem­ory of that bar­rier to box romp in the mud at Rand­wick, this time the “Geld­ing in Red” is a sit­ting duck.

Redzel ($4.80) will be four weeks be­tween runs, although ad­mit­tedly, he looked right up to the mark in a dom­i­nant Rose­hill Gar­dens trial win on Oct 30.

“He cer­tainly hasn’t gone back­wards since The Ever­est. He’s in the zone and he does en­joy rac­ing down the Flem­ing­ton straight,” McEvoy said.

And for those rea­sons pun­ters will flock to him like bees to a honey pot in the lead-up.

Yet, as good as Redzel is, with stun­ning ca­reer strike rate and more than $15 mil­lion prize­money, the guard is about to change.

The six-year-old has been near un­beat­able on Heavy ground, su­per ef­fec­tive when it’s dry, but that mid Soft 5/6 range is where he’s vul­ner­a­ble.

We get that to­mor­row in a spec­u­lar field of high class sprint­ing depth that will launch down the mid­dle in a pack, with lit­tle sep­a­rat­ing first to last by time they hit the 400m.

Redzel is drawn the mid­dle, and while I have no doubt he’ll run to the front, there should be no lack of “stalk­ing pres­sure.”

From the in­side gate, just how much on-speed pres­sure is served up by four-year-old long­shot mare In­vin­ci­ble Star ($26.00) is the key.

Even wider out, five-yearold Cool­more raider Spirit Of Valor ($11.00) can prove an on­pace fly in the oint­ment.

For that rea­son, I’m “map­ping” win­ner to come from just off the pace, or even mid­field – and two most likely are a pair of four-yearold brown stal­lions.

Ke­men­tari’s ($7.50) run in the Group 1 Manikato (1200m) at Moonee Val­ley off a sixweek break when he mo­tored home from a mile back to be beaten un­der length was bril­liant, and I love the fact switch­ing to a com­pletely dif­fer­ent straight-course run, he stays at the same trip.

The big dan­ger is Pier­ata ($5.00) who also hasn’t started since a dom­i­nant Heavy track win on Ever­est day in the Group 3 Syd­ney Stakes (1200m).

Just like Ke­men­tari, he stays at 1200m, de­spite hav­ing form up to the mile, and we know how good he is in Soft ground.

I just hope the next horse have any own­er­ship in is a Pierro. They have a stride to live for.

And let’s not for­get the in­trigue sur­round­ing dual Group 1 New­mar­ket win­ner, the eight-year-old Red­kirk War­rior ($12.00) who re­sumes five months af­ter flop­ping in the Group 1 Di­a­mond Ju­bilee and July Cup dou­ble

UK; three-prong as­sault from Ir­ish trainer Ai­dan O’Brien, or the re­bound fac­tor from Ever­est run­ners like Santa Ana Lane ($10.00) and In Her Time ($13.00).

A truly great race. My SPRINT CLAS­SIC Tips:

1. KE­MEN­TARI; 2. Pier­ata;

3. Redzel; 4. Santa Ana Lane As for the fea­ture Group 1 $2 mil­lion Mackin­non Stakes (2000m), Mel­bourne Cup­win­ning sta­ble looks su­per tough to stop again, with high­class weight-for-age six-yearold Blair House ($2.30).

The form mea­sures up a treat head­ing to Flem­ing­ton for the first time – beaten head one month back in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) by Ben­batl – who has since chased home Winx in the Cox Plate – af­ter a ter­rific run com­ing from well back to smash the line be­hind Homes­man

in the Group 1 Un­der­wood (1800m).

The race comes with ex­tra spice.

Derby win­ner Ex­tra Brut ($8.00) is on the seven-day back-up with just 51kgs; seven-year-old mare and Group 1 Em­pire Rose win­ner Shil­le­lagh ($7.50) is also on that quick turn­around; while four-year-old stal­lion La­trobe ($5.50) – a strik­ing son of top sire Camelot and trained by last year’s Mel­bourne Cup con­queror Joseph O’Brien – has his first run at Head­quar­ters for team Wil­liams. My MACKIN­NON Tips:

1. BLAIR HOUSE; Shil­le­lagh; 3. La­trobe

My other stand­out se­lec­tion for Flem­ing­ton to­mor­row is last-start win­ner Lucky For All ($2.80) ris­ing to BM 90 grade in Race 2 (2000m), but a lightly-raced and very tal­ented four-year-old who is headed for Group suc­cess.

At Rose­hill Gar­dens, pun­ters can fly out of the blocks in Race 2 aboard top­weight Royal Cel­e­bra­tion ($2.00) who de­spite giv­ing his three-yearold ri­vals plenty of weight, can win again sit­ting on the speed in a race that suits.

Ke­men­tari, pic­tured win­ning the Rand­wick Guineas, is Neil’s top pick in the Sprint Clas­sic.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.