McEvoy and Redzel eye another Flemington win
THE second richest horse in Australian racing history can complete a fabulous Flemington Carnival for champion South Australian jockey Kerrin McEvoy today.
The three-time Melbourne Cupwinning rider will be back aboard one of his favourite horses Redzel, who trails only Winx ($22.3 million) in career earnings with more than $15.3 million in the bank, in today’s $1 million VRC Sprint Classic.
Fresh from their win in the $13 million Everest in Sydney last month, Redzel also boasts an imposing record at Flemington.
He won down the straight on Oaks Day in 2016, he beat a hot field that included Chautauqua and Vega Magic in this race last year, before finishing runner-up behind Redkirk Warrior in the Group 1 Lighting Stakes back in February.
McEvoy, who has based himself in Melbourne during the Melbourne Spring Carnival, returned to Sydney to ride Redzel in a recent Rosehill barrier trial and said the star sprinter was in good shape for his return to Melbourne.
“Redzel felt great in the trial, he certainly hasn’t gone backwards since The Everest,’’ McEvoy said.
“He’s in the zone at the moment and he does enjoy racing down the Flemington straight.”
McEvoy boasts a brilliant record on the Peter and Paul Snowden-trained sprinter.
He’s ridden Redzel 13 times for eight wins, finished runner-up on three occasions while they finished fourth behind English in the Doomben 10,000 in May and fifth behind Goodwood winner and VRC Sprint rival Santa Ana Lane in the Premier Stakes on September 29.
Co-trainer Paul Snowden said the VRC Sprint Classic was always the target after his second successive Everest victory in October.
“He came through the race (Everest) too well,’’ Snowden said yesterday.
“We had the option of running in the Manikato and could have run him there, but it’s all about this race.
“The horse is in magnificent order and fantastic shape and we can’t wait to unleash him.
“I’d have to say he’s even better than last year.”
Snowden said Redzel’s greatest asset was his adaptability in his races and they’d leave all racing tactics in the capable hands of McEvoy.
“You can play it by ear,’’ Snowden said. “That’s the beauty of the horse.
“They will be all looking for us, whereas we don’t have to look for anything else too much.
“I’m sure Kerrin (McEvoy) will work it out on the day.
“That’s probably why it gives you so much confidence going into races with this horse.
“He doesn’t have to rely on anything to put speed on or deterioration of the track or if there is rain on the day, he just excels in everything.”
Redzel felt great in the trial, he certainly hasn’t gone backwards since The Everest.