Redzel scales the peak again

Champ de­fends his Ever­est ti­tle by lead­ing all the way

Herald on Sunday - - RACING -

Redzel de­fended his in­au­gu­ral Ever­est crown, win­ning yes­ter­day’s $14.1 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional fea­ture at Royal Rand­wick in Syd­ney and lead­ing from start to fin­ish as he did last year.

Rid­den again by Ker­rin McEvoy, the Peter and Paul Snow­den-trained horse took full ad­van­tage of his in­side draw to quickly set the tempo of the race, kick­ing clear over the rise to es­tab­lish a com­mand­ing lead.

Redzel pock­eted A$6m for the win, tak­ing his carer earn­ings to close on A$15m.

“It was a mas­ter­ful ride and Ker­rin judged it per­fectly,” Snow­den said. “He did it tough to­day. He lead from the front and I am just so proud of the horse.”

Redzel was never se­ri­ously chal­lenged at any stage of the race, safely hold­ing off a brave Trapeze Artist who had beaten him in the T J Smith by two lengths when they met in the au­tumn over the Ever­est jour­ney of 1200m.

Godol­phin out­sider and Ever­est emer­gency Os­borne Bulls ran the race of his life fin­ish­ing al­most on the out­side rail to just grab third plac­ing. Le Ro­main was a close fourth. Favourite Shoals was un­placed as was high class Bri­tish raider US Navy Flag who never seemed com­fort­able on the heavy track.

● Pier­ata made a mess of a top qual­ity field of sprint­ers in the Ever­est con­so­la­tion, the group three $500,000 Syd­ney Stakes (1200m).

Trainer Greg Hick­man had wanted to get Pier­ata into The Ever­est all spring with­out suc­cess and was still hope­ful of a late call-up last week when it was learned Home Of The Brave was com­ing out of the race.

Slot-holder the Aus­tralian Turf Club sub­sti­tuted Godol­phin sta­ble­mate Os­borne Bulls for Home Of the The Brave and Hick­man’s Ever­est hopes were dashed.

But the trainer and his syn­di­cate of own­ers are al­ready think­ing about The Ever­est next year af­ter Pier­ata’s em­phatic Syd­ney Stakes win.

Hick­man said as much as he wanted to get Pier­ata into The Ever­est, it was not a sim­ple process.

“It’s all about the con­tracts and what you are deal­ing with,’’ Hick­man said.

“There was noth­ing the own­ers were sat­is­fied with so we had to move with his pro­gramme.

“We thought we might get over a bit more ground but maybe he doesn’t get a strong mile at that level.” ● Boom colt The Au­tumn Sun thrashed his ri­vals in the Caulfield Guineas to show he is the next su­per­star of the turf.

The champ was rid­den su­perbly by Kiwi jockey James McDon­ald at Caulfield and won go­ing away from Vas­si­la­tor and Oo­hood.

Ex-pat Kiwi trainer Chris Waller said: “Maybe I am wrong, but I have had a bit of ex­pe­ri­ence with some nice colts he is as good as it gets.

“We never ex­pected him to lead this race, but they are in their zone, and they are cov­er­ing ex­tra ground and it is un­fa­mil­iar, but it just shows how good he is. That is what we wanted to show ev­ery­body to­day.”

McDon­ald was full of praise for the horse af­ter the race.

“I didn't want to take up the lead, so I let him just sit there, and he breathed beau­ti­fully and was ex­plo­sive on the turf.”

Asked if he could take on Winx in Cox Plate: “She is too good but he is, in his own right, look at him. He's just a cham­pion. A very good horse.”

Photo / Getty Im­ages

Redzel leads all the way in The Ever­est.

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