Redzel primed to de­fend Ever­est ti­tle

The Sportsman Weekend - - News - MATT JONES

DE­FEND­ING Ever­est cham­pion Redzel moved into equal favouritism for to­mor­row’s $13m event at Royal Rand­wick af­ter draw­ing bar­rier one on Tues­day night.

Shortly af­ter the draw, Redzel joined Trapeze Artist, Vega Magic and Shoals at the top of bet­ting as $7 chances in race with Santa Ana Lane ($8) on the sec­ond line of bet­ting.

Shoals sup­port­ers are an­tic­i­pat­ing rain which re­ally suits her and she did power past Redzel late in the pair’s lead up race, the Group 2 Pre­miere Stakes (1200m) which was won by Santa Ana Lane on Septem­ber 29.

Co-trainer Peter Snow­den wasn’t too con­cerned be­fore the draw know­ing ei­ther way, Redzel would be go­ing for­ward just like he did in the race last year.

“Things won’t change much for us,” Snow­den said.

“Draw­ing one is great but he does have very good gate speed so a bad gate wouldn’t have been the end of the world.”

The rain won’t bother Redzel ei­ther.

His record on heavy tracks (6:2-2-1) is su­perb and Ker­rin McEvoy will again team up with the Snitzel six-year-old.

“I’m happy to get some rain be­cause he does ex­cel on wet tracks. He goes as well the wet as on the dry so a soft track will suit him,” Snow­den said.

The mar­ket says just about any of the 12 horses can win the race.

Out­sider Le Ro­main ($21) is also good value con­sid­er­ing he’s a wet tracker too and has al­ready won three Group 1 races, in­clud­ing the Can­ter­bury Stakes (1300m) at Rand­wick.

Snow­den knows they’ll be com­ing from ev­ery­where though to en­sure his horse doesn’t de­fend his ti­tle suc­cess­fully.

“You can’t rule one out. They all be­long there,” he said.

could select five and not even pick the win­ner; it’s that good a field. Th­ese aren’t just horses that have been nom­i­nated for a race, they’ve been hand-picked and it’s the best of the best.

“An­thony Freed­man’s horses (Shoals and Santa Ana Lane) look to be the ones to beat but it’s a tougher race than last year.

“Le Ro­main is a very good horse who loves the wet and he doesn’t de­serve to be the price he is.”

Os­borne Bulls was a late in­clu­sion on Tues­day (for the ATC slot) af­ter Home Of The Brave was ruled out of race with an el­e­vated tem­per­a­ture and ab­nor­mal blood test re­sults.

Tommy Berry will ride the emerg­ing star who has won eight from 12 starts and a sen­sa­tional recorded at the dis­tance.

The Peter and Paul Snow­den-trained Redzel is out to re­peat his 2017 per­for­mance in to­mor­row’s Ever­est.

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