He­roes turned en­e­mies

Ap­pleby’s Cat to over­come McEvoy and Red in swan­song

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - CRAIG BREN­NAN

THEY shared the spoils in the Mel­bourne Cup but to­mor­row’s Group 1 VRC Sprint Clas­sic (1200m) they will be­come op­po­nents.

Trainer Char­lie Ap­pleby and jockey Ker­rin McEvoy joined forces to give Sheikh Mo­hammed’s Godol­phin op­er­a­tion its first Mel­bourne Cup win with Cross Counter, but it’s a dif­fer­ent story this week­end.

Ap­pleby will sad­dle Jun­gle Cat in the fea­ture sprint while McEvoy rides dual Ever­est win­ner Redzel, aim­ing to add to his vic­tory in the race 12 months ago.

Jun­gle Cat was part of the ad­vance party sent to Mel­bourne for the spring, ar­riv­ing in early Septem­ber.

He didn’t let the team down, land­ing the Group 1 Sir Ru­pert Clarke Stakes at Caulfield on Septem­ber 22 be­fore step­ping up in jour­ney tack­ling the Toorak Hand­i­cap, fin­ish­ing 13th be­hind Land Of Plenty.

Jun­gle Cat is no stranger to suc­cess over a straight course win­ning the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint (1200m) at Mey­dan on Dubai World Cup night in March.

But Ap­pleby says tack­ling some of Aus­tralia’s best sprint­ers makes it in­ter­est­ing.

Jun­gle Cat is set for re­tire­ment fol­low­ing to­mor­row’s race to join Dar­ley Stud’s stal­lion ros­ter in the new year.

“This is his swan song. He’s been a yard favourite,” Ap­pleby said.

“Ob­vi­ously his ca­reer high­light was win­ning the Al Quoz and then com­ing over here to win the Sir Ru­pert Clarke was a great achieve­ment.

“We’re drop­ping back to six (fur­longs) and he’s re­tir­ing for a rea­son. He’s get­ting a bit older now, he’s tak­ing on the proper sprint­ers over here.

“It will be tough for him but one thing about him, he won’t lie down.”

Re­garded as Aus­tralia’s best sprinter, Redzel won a hot edi­tion last year ac­count­ing for Ter­rav­ista and Im­pend­ing with oth­ers in his wake in­clud­ing Chau­tauqua, Vega Magic and Red­kirk War­rior.

Af­ter an in­ter­rupted prepa­ra­tion, Redzel de­feated Trapeze Artist and Os­borne Bulls in The Ever­est on Oc­to­ber 13.

McEvoy said Redzel has been in great form since the vic­tory.

“I tri­alled him last week and he flew along and he did his last piece of work in Syd­ney yes­ter­day (Tues­day),” McEvoy said.

“He can’t be go­ing any bet­ter.”

Dual Ever­est win­ner Redzel is look­ing for light­ning to strike twice in to­mor­row’s VRC Sprint Clas­sic.

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