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Two-year-old filly Misteed wins Randwick trial

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EXCITING two-year-old filly Misteed impressed in winning Heat 7 of the Randwick trials on Monday, working home between horses to run the fastest two-year-old trial of the morning.

Showing immaturity and running a touch keen, Misteed displayed good raw ability in being hitting the line best to beat home the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained pair of Whiskey Shooter and Boudicea Belle.

The Exceed And Excel filly was a $150,000 purchase from the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, and is from the same family as US Group 1 winning filly November Snow, and NZ Champion Sprinter Bounding.

Everest winning jockey Kerrin McEvoy did the steering, and was pleased with the display, predicting a bright future ahead for the filly.

“I was happy with her. She jumped out well and we got into a good position,” he said.

“She rounded the trial off nicely and will only improve from that. She’s got a nice quick action and I like the feel she gave me.”

On a busy morning at headquarters, two-time Group race winner Gold Symphony returned to the trials after disappointing in Brisbane on his last start, but he showed no hangover from that performance, as he eased to second position in the opening trial.

Peter Snowden was happy with what he saw. “He trialed nicely today,” said Snowden. “I’ve nominated him for the Lough Neagh Stakes in Brisbane on the weekend and we’ll just see how he comes through this before making a decision.”

Emperor leads the way for dominant win

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EMPEROR’S WAY was sent off the $1.50 favourite for the Class 1 Handicap over a mile at Gosford on Thursday and he duly delivered in convincing fashion, running out an eased one-and-three-quarter-length winner.

Second up and facing four rivals, the four-year-old jumped well and stalked the leader under Brenton Avdulla in the early stages before ruthlessly putting the race to bed in the final 300 metres.

The result is a second win for Emperor’s Way and his owners, who also has an excellent third at city level over 1800m in his last preparation and makes for a smart prospect once getting out to a further trip.

Co-trainer Paul Snowden was pleased with the win.

“It was good. Great to see him bounce back second up with a win over the mile,” he said.

“The intention is to step him up in trip and obviously he’s going to improve with fitness.

“He’s in at the right time of year, and ran a nice solid third in a good staying race in town last preparation so hopefully we can get him back into Saturday company.

“He floats around a little bit so today was maybe not a true indication of how good the win was. If he’s got one to run down it definitely brings out the best of him. But this will be good for his confidence.”

Magic plans for Dothraki after Starlight challenge

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DOTHRAKI might not be a punters’ favourite but to his owners he has been a dream horse. And the fun is far from over as he prepares to start another campaign at Rosehill on Saturday.

IT’S not often you’re told you have a Group 1 winner in the making before your horse even steps out on to the racetrack but that’s exactly what Dothraki’s connections were told some five years ago.

Triple Crown Syndications director Michael Ward remembers it well.

“Even from day one, I remember Gerald Ryan, who had him at the time, commented that the only horse he had seen that worked as well as him at trackwork at the time was All Too Hard,” Ward said. “Gerald said (at the time) ‘this will be a Group 1 winner for you’ and that’s some credit to him.”

Ryan has always been known as a good judge of a racehorse and, while he hasn’t been proven exactly right yet with Dothraki, he has been pretty close to the mark.

Dothraki has been placed twice at Group 1 level, including being beaten a lip by Malaguerra in the Group 1 BTC Cup at Doomben last year. He has won two Group 3 races and two Listed races on his way to earning more than $1.1 million in prizemoney.

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Sure, he is not the punters’ favourite horse as he has been beaten a few times when he has looked home but, for Triple Crown Syndications and Dothraki’s owners, he has been pretty special.

“He hasn’t always been the most genuine horse in terms of finishing off his races, which has probably cost him a little bit of success,” Ward said. “He has gone within very small margins of winning a Group 1 and he could have probably done even better than what he has done but it’s pretty hard to complain when you’ve done what he has.

“He has had a couple of near misses when he looked like he has been home for all money but he is a terrific owners’ horse being sound and full of talent. He has accumulated more than $1 million in prizemoney now and you can’t ask for much more than that.

“He does cop a bit by the punters sometimes but, as an owners’ horse, I think he is a dream horse.”

Think of a handy AFL or NRL player that fronts up every week across several seasons.

That’s the sort of horse equivalent Dothraki is. Not the star of the show by any means but one that continues to put in solid performances week in, week out, year in, year out.

You only have to look at the list of some of the horses he took on in the 2013 Golden Slipper to admire Dothraki’s longevity.

Overreach, Sweet Idea, Whittington, Guelph and Criterion were among his rivals that day and they have all long been retired from the racetrack. But not only is Dothraki still competitive at seven, he is also running mighty races in strong company.

“He was a pre-Christmas two-year-old and he is still racing this many years later in Group races,” Ward said. “He has been so consistent at the top level and he has raced in stakes grade from two, three, four, five, six and now seven. To have that longevity and success has been great and he has taken his owners everywhere across the eastern seaboard.”

On Saturday, Dothraki will be back at it again when he lines up as an $8 chance in the Listed Starlight Stakes (1100m) at Rosehill. It’s his first start as a seven-year-old and he showed he was on track for another successful campaign with a Randwick trial win last month.

Some punters may have already put him in the ‘never to back again’ basket but Ward is upbeat the consistent gelding has a bit more left to give yet.

“He appears to have come up well,” he said. “He hasn’t had a good break for quite some time but he has had a good spell this time and he seems to have really appreciated it. He has come back and trialled up very nicely going into this race. Obviously due to his record he is carrying a fair bit of weight (60kg) but he is a class runner.”

The Starlight Stakes might be the focus for now but his owners have bigger fish to fry in the coming months. And who is to say Dothraki won’t still be earning cheques for his owners for many months to come.

“We will head towards the Magic Millions Carnival with him (in January),” Ward said. “He will target the Magic Millions Sprint and with a couple of runs under his belt he will be well placed there.

“That would certainly be the cherry on top if he can pick off one of those $1 million races up there. He has been a pretty straight-forward horse and he has been sound the whole way through.

“He seems to really be thriving and while he has that zest for racing, we will continue to press on with him.”

For his owners, anything is a bonus now.

He has already recouped his $45,000 yearling price tag more than 25 times and he has been just as important to Triple Crown Syndication’s rise as well.

“We had a couple of stakes winners before him but when he came along he kept that momentum going,” Ward said. “Every year we try to produce a couple of stakes winners and he was very important in that crop, along with Charlie Boy.

“We have been fortunate the run has continued a bit. Dothraki does always perform well first-up so fingers crossed he can do it tomorrow.”

Words: Brad Davidson

The Redzel journey: in the eyes of his owners

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WE catch up with John Medland, Patricia di Marco, Tim Cheng and Michael Chau, four of the 17 listed owners in Redzel, who share some experiences and memories of being involved with the world’s number 1 sprinter!

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You’re a winner of the first running of The Everest, the world’s richest race on turf. What does that mean to you and describe the feeling as he crossed the line?

PdM: It was such an outpour of emotion! I was hugging everyone, it was wonderful! The hype leading it up to it was incredible and, for me, it was something my husband John had dreamed of. It was a bitter sweet moment.

JM: For me it was a privilege to be involved – win, lose or draw – but to be the first winner of this race is quite unbelievable.

MC: It’s reaching the pinnacle. I’ve been involved in a few racehorses now and you always wonder if you have one that can get to this level and it’s just extraordinary to be personally involved in a win like this.

TC: It was surreal – a dream that took a while to sink in. In the Darley we just went nuts after but there was almost a moment when it went quiet after The Everest and I thought ‘did this really happen?’

Many have said Redzel has flown under the radar over the last 12 months, at what point did you think a run in The Everest was possible, and did you ever think he could go on and win?

JM: We started to believe as he went on and I think the point for me was winning the Doomben 10,000 and as he continued to win, yes, I thought we were a live chance of winning the race.

TC: I think after the Galaxy when he just lost out to Russian Revolution was the moment when I thought he’d gone to the next level. We won the Hall Mark and then after the Doomben 10,000 win was when the media started to spruke him as an Everest possible and I started to believe it too!

PdM: He had achieved a lot before The Everest and I never think he quite got the credit he deserved. I mean, these were substantial races he was winning and he was doing it with authority. After the Doomben 10,000 we knew he had the talent and it was a case of a slot holder coming forward. None of the racing commentators seemed to be tipping him which I was shocked about! I’m glad he proved them all wrong!

MC: I think for me it was after winning the Concorde when I thought he’d be in with a good chance of getting a slot. And then when he backed up to win The Shorts like he did, in my mind he became a top two chance with his racing pattern – he takes luck out of the situation.

TC: The Concorde was a defining moment, for sure. Paul Snowden legged up Kerrin [McEvoy] before the Concorde and he just gave me a wink. The only other time I’ve had a wink was from Peter before the Darley, and we won both times!

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Redzel has gone from being dubbed the most improved sprinter in Australia, to undoubtedly Australia’s best sprinter. But is he the best sprinter in the world?

JM: I didn’t give it too much thought after The Everest and then he won the Darley. He’s undoubtedly the best in Australia now and with his Timeform rating he has to be up there as one of the best in the world.

PdM: It’s really hard to know. Like John, you’d have to say given what he’s achieved he’s up there as one of the best, but the best in the world? Hard to tell!

MC: I think he is. That win in the Darley has just cemented his position as the world’s best sprinter in my opinion.

TC: Yes!

What difference has the horse and his success made to you and your family?

PdM: At The Everest it was the first time I had all my girls there and it was wonderful to share the moment with them. John would have been so happy for them being there and it will go down in the annals of the Di Marco household!

TC: Definitely, it’s the moments you can’t replace. He’s given me the highs which have balanced out the lows and has been something to celebrate together.

JM: The money side of it has been irrelevant for me. He’s given my son, Luke, so much joy and that’s the greatest thing of all. I’m just proud of what he’s achieved.

MC: Financially it has helped but it’s the life experiences that he’s given us which are most valued. Before The Everest racing was just my hobby but now my wife loves to be involved in it as well. She knew nothing about racing before and now knows everything!

What do you enjoy most about being involved in a racing syndicate with lots of different owners?

TC: When you win, it’s like having a massive birthday party! We all have a love for the horse that you only get through ownership and it makes it even more enjoyable.

JM: There’s a real camaraderie among the owners as you meet so many characters with a shared interest. It’s been a wonderful experience.

PdM: We have such lovely people in this horse, don’t we. It’s made it such a great experience. I mean, a few of you are a little excitable, but that’s racing for you! We’ve all become such good friends through this experience.

MC: Everyone comes from different backgrounds with different stories and we’re all sharing in these experiences. I understand the excitement from some! The horse has really made a difference to their lives and it’s great to see.

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What’s your favourite aspect of owning a racehorse?

JM: It’s the buzz of going to the major racetracks and seeing our beast run. Winning gives you the same thrill wherever it’s at!

MC: I think being an owner you see racing from the other side of the fence, so to speak. That is to say that as a punter you may win or lose a bet on a horse but as an owner you go through a journey and you see racing through different lenses. That’s the biggest aspect for me.

PdM: It’s the social side of meeting all the owners and having such a good camaraderie that I most enjoy.

TC: I’ve been involved in racing all my life and it’s a euphoric feeling winning these big races. You’ve got to be there involved to understand. The prizemoney is great but it’s that feeling that you can’t replace.

JM: It helps that the syndicate is so professionally run by the guys at Triple Crown who do a great job.

The Snowden’s are the master trainers at getting a result on grand final day, what do they add to the ownership experience?

JM: They are the best I’ve been with and I’ve had horses with a few other trainers. They’re sincere, professional, polite and approachable. I can’t ask any more of them.

PdM: It’s their humility for me. They’re just so down to earth and there aren’t many trainers like that. They really work for us as owners and do what’s best for the horse.

MC: I agree in that the Snowden’s are just such humble people. They treat everyone equally – like they’re one of us – and don’t play up who they are.

TC: I have a lot of trust in them. You know with the Snowden’s that the horses are going there in good order and are looked after. The horse always comes first. They give everyone the time of day – I’m just a 5% shareholder in one of his horses but they always come up and say ‘G’day.’

Now, if you could win any race, anywhere in the world, which would it be and why?

JM: A second Everest is top of my list!

PdM: I’ll second that!

MC: The Everest would be great to win again but aside from that I’d love to win the Hong Kong International and have the experience of owning a racehorse abroad.

TC: Back to back Everests would be incredible. But if I could win any race it would be the Golden Slipper as that’s the race I’ve grown up watching as the best race in Sydney.

History makers: Redzel & Peggy see Triple Crown lead the way

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TRIPLE CROWN take inaugural running of The Everest three years after winning the first running of The Championships

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SYDNEY racing has undergone some pioneering changes over the last four years. First, the implementation of The Championships in 2014 provided a pinnacle for racing in the state in a revamped Autumn Carnival, and this year saw the lucrative first running of The Everest in October, worth $10 Million, the pinnacle of the sprinting division the world over.

Racing in Sydney has never been so strong. So for Triple Crown to win the first running of both of these races is a remarkable and historical achievement.

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The beautiful Peggy Jean, majestic in full flight as she flashed home to take the Sires’ Produce in 2014, the Championship 2YO race, was matched in endeavour, spirit and toughness by Redzel’s phenomenal victory in The Everest, the world’s richest race on turf.

Peggy Jean, a $46,000 purchase, won the Inglis Classic race before her Championships success, and was later sold for $1 Million as a broodmare, earning her connections a total of almost $2 Million.

Following his triumph in The Everest, Redzel rocketed into the top ten prizemoney earners in Australian Racing history and, after his stunning sixth successive victory in the Group 1 Darley Classic on November 11, the $120,000 Magic Millions purchase has earned just shy of $8 Million for connections in what has been a fairytale run for the orphan foal and his owners.

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Peggy Jean and Redzel take their place alongside Hot Snitzel as two of three Group 1 winners for Triple Crown, with The Red silks having been delivered to an astonishing 22 Group-race wins (plus an Everest!) since 2010!

And for all the riches that these tremendous triumphs provide, it’s the memories of those sensational moments that are valued most both here at Triple Crown and our fantastic group of owners!

Photo: Bradley Photographers

The Rise And Rise Of Redzel

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HE has risen from an orphan foal, to being acclaimed as the world’s best sprinter with career earnings of more than $7.8 million. They could be making a movie about the rise and rise of champion five-year-old Redzel.

Redzel (Snitzel x Millrich by Rubiton) put the seal on his climb to the top of the world sprint ratings with a dominant win in the $1 million Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington.He produced his now trademark power house front running speed to lead from start to finish in the Melbourne Cup Carnival’s feature sprint for his sixth straight success over the last 12 months.

The outstanding son of Snitzel is now the winner of 11 of his 21 starts and came after last month’s victory in Australia’s richest ever race, the $10 million The Everest at Randwick.

An orphan foal, Redzel went through the sale ring twice, first as a weanling and again as a yearling.

His first sale ring appearance was an enforced sale as Redzel was first offered at the 2013 Australian Select Weanlings Sale by PPB Advisory as receivers and managers of his embattled breeder Lee Fleming Thoroughbreds.

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Marquee Stud purchased him for $45,000 before he returned to the sale ring at the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale where purchased by Triple Crown Syndications for $120,000.

He now races for a big syndicate of owners under the astute training of Peter and Paul Snowden.

“He keeps proving the doubters wrong and keeps getting it done with professional performances,” Peter Snowden said.

“It’s about the horse – he’s so easy to train. He does everything we ask.

“We give him an easy time between runs and he comes back to life again.”

“He’s a gelding and he’s only five – so hopefully he can keep racing in great style, stay sound and the owners will have a great deal of fun.”

Redzel is a son of champion Arrowfield Stud sire Snitzel, who was also sold at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

Millrich, Redzel’s Group winning dam has also produced the Gold Coast sold Group winner Danerich, sire of the recent G2 winner Rich Charm.

Arrowfield’s John Messara is delighted that Snitzel has sired a champion sprinter in his own mould.

“What excites me most about Snitzel is that he appreciates quality in his mares and Redzel’s dam is a good example,”Messara said.

“Millrich was a Group-winning two-year-old and was already a Group producer when she visited Snitzel.’’

Redzel is unlikely to travel overseas next year despite the lure of a trip to the UK for the Royal Ascot sprints. Snowden said he will be aimed at back-to-back wins in The Everest.

Redzel sped over the 1200m straight course in 1:08.74 with his last 600 metres in 33.21 seconds.

His dam Millrich, who died in 2012, won the G3 Sweet Embrace Stakes and was thid in the G1 Golden Slipper Stakes as a 2YO.

She has produced nine foals to race for seven winners, including G3 winner and sire Danerich (Danehill).

Redzel’s second dam is the three-time winner Mill Rani (Millionaire), the dam of eight winners and the grand dam of the G1-placed sire El Roca (Fastnet Rock).

Redzel stakes claim as world’s best sprinter

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“He’s not getting the respect he deserves.” That was Peter Snowden’s verdict on The Everest winner Redzel before the Darley Classic on Saturday. He does now.

In a scintillating performance Redzel proved that phenomenal success in the world’s richest race on turf a month ago was no fluke, as he once again dismantled a strong field of sprinters to lay claim to being the world’s best over the sprint distance.

Electric out of the gates as always, Redzel went straight to the front on the stands’ side where Kerrin McEvoy rated the son of Snitzel to perfection, proving too strong over the concluding 600m for any other rival.

Redzel’s second Group 1 success marked a sixth victory in succession for the five-year-old, taking total career earnings to $7,797,750 for the $120k Magic Millions Yearling Sale graduate.

Co-trainer Peter Snowden said to Racing.com, “I thought he proved himself at The Everest. He keeps stepping up and proving all the doubters wrong and keeps delivering a professional performance.

“He jumped, led, he’s all speed – sustained speed – and he finishes his races off. I don’t think he was ever headed and it’s a dominant win again.

“You can make good horses but this fella is so easy to train. He does everything he’s asked and what we’ve found is that when we space his runs he comes to life.”

While Snowden confirmed that there will be no Magic Millions bid for Redzel, the trainer said no further plans had been established, and did not rule out the prospect of going overseas with the dual Group 1 winner.

“I’ve got to map a plan out,” said Snowden. “He’ll be coming over to Sydney tomorrow night and will be given a two-three week break.

“He is a Magic Millions horse but I think it will be just too hot to take him there, so we’re more likely to kick off mid-February or early March.

“The owners have already said that they already want another go at The Everest, there’s no need to travel when we’ve got so much money here, but who knows.”

Redzel chases sixth consecutive win in Darley Classic

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THE EVEREST winner Redzel will be chasing a sixth consecutive win on Saturday as he looks to cement his position as one of the world’s best sprinters in the $1 Million Group 1 Darley Classic at Flemington.

The five-year-old, who is now among the top ten prize-money earners in Australian racing history, drew barrier ten with 14 acceptances for the prestigious 1200m sprint, where he’ll line up against several of his Everest rivals, including runner-up Vega Magic.

Co-trainer Peter Snowden says the Triple Crown charge is in fantastic shape ahead of his bid to claim a second Group 1 success.

“I couldn’t be happier with how the horse has trained on since The Everest,” said Snowden.

“He’s in a fantastic place and is very happy in himself. We’ve given him a month between races again when we know he’s at his very best and he’ll be tough to beat again on Saturday.

“We’ll see how the track plays but we’re happy with the draw as the horse has fantastic gate speed and has already shown that he’s adaptable in leading or tracking the leaders.

“His work on Tuesday was excellent and it’s all systems go for Saturday.”

Last season’s leading son of Champion Sire Snitzel enters the race on a rich vein of form having won his last five races, a run that stretches back to the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes in April and includes the Group 1 Doomben 10,000, as well as the first running of The Everest in October.

Poetic Charmer scores stylish Newcastle win

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YOUR SONG colt Poetic Charmer demolished his opposition by almost three lengths in a dominant win in the 1400m Maiden Handicap at Newcastle on a wet Sunday afternoon.

The addition of blinkers and more positive tactics on the three-year-old delivered a change in fortunes who scored at the fifth attempt after running into high class opposition in defeats to subsequent Group 2 winner Viridine, Beau Geste, French Tune and most recently impressive Fastnet Rock filly Unforgotten.

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Jockey Nick Heywood tracked the early leader Sekiyama and, after a slow first four furlongs, injected speed into the race at the turn and quickly put the race to bed, with the celebrations starting for his elated group of owners!

“He jumped well and we took a trail behind the leader, which worked out well,” said Heywood. “Peter Snowden wasn’t keen for us to lead but we wanted to be prominent.

“I would have liked a bit more speed in the race but I just injected the tempo into the race early as he just seems to maintain the same speed.

“It was a great win and hopefully he can kick on from here.”

Photo: Bradley Photographers

Gold Symphony and Dothraki in eyecatching trials

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GROUP-RACE winners Gold Symphony and Dothraki returned to the public sphere with each posting solid trials on their return from spells at Canterbury on Friday morning.

Dothraki, a four-time Stakes winner and Golden Slipper runner in his juvenile year, was sharp out of the gates in his 900m trial, and the baldy-faced son of Mossman hit the line well under a hold from jockey Blake Shinn.

The now seven-year-old will be targeted at the $1 Million Magic Millions Sprint in January, and co-trainer Paul Snowden was delighted with what he saw at Canterbury.

“He was out there this morning for just a little blowout,” said Snowden.

“Blake kept him well in hand and we’ve got plenty of time with him with the intention of getting him up to Queensland.

“He trialed terrific, gave a great feel and was nice and cozy in what he did this morning.

“He’s right on track.”

Meanwhile, dual Group 3 winner Gold Symphony tracked the leaders in nicely under Josh Adams in heat 5 at Canterbury on his return after claiming the Listed Civic Stakes in his last preparation.

He’s another who will be Queensland bound this summer, with a strong series of races available to the leading son of Reward For Effort.

“He was very good today,” said Snowden. “We wanted to see where he was at fitness wise.

“There are options for him up in Queensland this summer with a good series of races and from what we’ve seen today he’ll be most likely kicking off his campaign up there shortly.”

Also at the trials on Friday was consistent performer Secret Trail, who looked sharp in finishing second behind runaway leader and Group 3 winner Chetwood in Heat 4.

She could also be heading north for the lucrative Magic Millions raceday on January 13.

Photo: Ashlea Brennan Photography