News

McEvoy revels in ‘Electric’ Everest

664330.jpg

KERRIN MCEVOY knew Sydney had backed a winner hours before he became the toast of Randwick by winning the inaugural running of The Everest on Redzel.

The champion jockey said there’s little doubt the Everest concept has set a new benchmark for Sydney racing and he could feel it right from the start.

“It was on from race one, you knew it was going to have a different feel to it,’’ McEvoy said.

“It was unlike any other Sydney race day, that’s what you want to see on a big day at Randwick.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how it is going to evolve even further.’’

LISTEN: Kerrin McEvoy speaks to TK & Slats on the Big Sports Breakfast

Over 33,000 people flocked to Randwick for The Everest and McEvoy said he felt the crowd was really engaged with the race day.

It was most evident in the lead up to The Everest, with the jockeys being introduced to the people, and when the gates opened there was a roar that is very rarely seen in Sydney.

“I liken it to a Cox Plate feel,’’ McEvoy said.

“It was electric, it’s something different and everyone was hanging on every horse’s step and there was a real focus on each race given the quality that was on offer.

“It was a great atmosphere and obviously I was the beneficiary of winning The Everest so I was probably feeling it more than anyone.

“I can tell you it was a bloody good feeling and I’m sure there’s plenty of other jockeys out there striving to feel what I felt on Saturday.’’

Redzel took his earnings to just under $8 million by becoming the inaugural Everest winner and in doing so established himself as one of the best sprinters in the country.

His rise to the top has been remarkable and McEvoy said it’s a testament to trainers Peter and Paul Snowden and how they prepare their horses.

While he was always confident the gelding would run well he knew he couldn’t make any mistakes.

“I knew we had a good chance in the race but it felt like it was too far away to grasp given the quality of the race,’’ he said.

“I went there knowing we had to get it all done correctly and we were able to achieve it.

“It was a privilege to be on the back of him, he’s a lovely horse to ride and is very straightforward. He’s a cruiser in the morning, does his job without any fuss, and goes to work on race day.

“He’s first out of the barriers and travels wherever you want him and goes when you want him to go. He’s a real jockey’s dream and I’m sure Peter and Paul would say he’s a trainer’s dream.

“It was just a fantastic feeling on what was a great first Everest day in Sydney.’’

Of course around 24 hours after his Everest win McEvoy produced a 10 out of 10 ride to win the Cranbourne Cup on Godolphin import Folkswood.

It gave the weekend an appropriate, yet slightly ironic, twist given McEvoy was Godolphin’s (then Darley) number one rider in Australia when Peter Snowden was at the helm until 2014.

Since going solo, McEvoy has won 18 Group 1 races, plus an Everest, while the Snowdens have won 11 Group 1 races.

Words: Ray Hickson

Photo: Bradley Photographers

WATCH: Redzel features on SKY Thoroughbred Central

664243.jpg

HE’s turning into quite the celebrity, and rightly so! Among Redzel’s many TV appearances since Saturday, the superstar winner of the first running of the $10 Million The Everest appeared on Sky’s Thoroughbred Weekly on Sunday.

As Redzel paraded through a live feed to Snowden Racing’s Randwick stable with the ‘grand-final’ co-trainers and Triple Crown’s Chris Ward standing by, Michael Ward was in the studio with Greg Radley discussing all things Everest and Redzel.

You can catch up with the show through clicking here

Moreover, Redzel has had TV appearances on Channel 7 and Channel 9 news this week as his stardom gains national attention!

We fear it may be getting to his head, however, as Redzel posed and attempted to take a chunk out of the $320k trophy at the Snowden Stable this morning with the Channel 7 and Channel 9 news crews filming!

redzel-mike

Redzel too strong in taking $10 Million The Everest

664238.jpg

HISTORY was made as Triple Crown Syndication’s Redzel stormed clear to take the first running of the $10 Million The Everest at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

The result was a victory for the ‘everyday Australian’ and the accessibility to racehorse ownership that syndication provides as Redzel’s 17 owners made up of a concreter, teacher, police officers, taxi driver, doctor and security guard walked away with the $5.8 Million winning prize – the world’s richest race on turf.

Primed to the minute by ‘grand-final’ trainers Peter & Paul Snowden, Redzel was too tough for his 11 rivals that featured the very best sprinters in the country, to win by a convincing three quarters of a length to the fast-finishing Vega Magic.

Redzel, who became Triple Crown’s third individual Group 1 winner when taking the Doomben 10,000 in May, jumped smartly and settled outside the leader Houtzen who pressed on from barrier 1. Jockey Kerrin McEvoy had Redzel under a good hold entering the straight and after taking it up with 300m to go the five-year-old skipped clear to claim victory in style.

“This is the best by far,” said an emotional Peter Snowden said after the race. “Our first Golden Slipper was exceptional; I didn’t think I’d ever get that feeling again but today is well past it.

“What a great result. The owners are a terrific bunch of guys. There’s a lot of stories behind all the owners and it’s fantastic to train a winner on such a massive stage them. It really means everything.”

Champion jockey Kerrin McEvoy was the man for the big occasion as he delivered a perfect ride on the son of Snitzel.

“What a race to win, it is so exciting,” said McEvoy. “It’s such a thrill to be a part of it; a huge buzz. The Everest is already a huge success and I am thrilled to win the first running of it.

“It couldn’t have worked out better in the run. We had a dream passage outside the leader and I’m over the moon.

“He is a little star. I’m so privileged to be riding these horses for Peter and Paul Snowden. They are master horsemen and have done a fantastic job with this horse.’

Snowden confirmed in the aftermath of the race that Redzel will stay in the stable and have a tilt at the Darley Classic at Flemington on November 11.

“He races well with four weeks between runs. I’ve said it before I think he’s almost unbeatable in that situation.

“He’ll head for the Darley Classic at Flemington next which gives him just that.”

Snowden: Redzel is the best I’ve ever had him

578980.jpg

PETER SNOWDEN says he has Redzel ‘the best he’s ever been’ heading into what could be a career defining race in the inaugural $10 Million The TAB Everest at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

Redzel had a final racecourse gallop on Tuesday ahead of the big race and has pleased Snowden since.

“The horse is great and I’ve been really happy with him. His work was great on Tuesday. He’s been out to the beach and done some work there which he loves doing. The weather’s been great for him.

“He did a bit of evens work on Thursday and his regular rider said he’s never been any better so all the signs are positive.”

At the barrier draw on Sydney Harbour Redzel drew gate 4 and Snowden says that gives the horse and jockey Kerrin McEvoy useful options in running.

“He’s drawn a good barrier which helps. Kerrin was here this morning for a chat and we had a good chat about the race and covered all the various scenarios.

“It all boils down to being in the right place at the right time and having him there to pounce. We all know he’ll be forward. Just how far forward will depend on how far they go.

“He’s in greater order the horse and it’s the best I’ve ever had him. We looked through his form and his previous runs and where he’s come from and there’s nothing reads stronger than him on paper. But that doesn’t count for nothing unless he can do something on Saturday.

“We’re very grateful to have a horse as good as he is with the ability he has. The way he has come on over the last six months has been exceptional and he’ll give us another really great ride on Saturday.”

Getting to know you: Lindy Wharekura

Redzel wins the Concorde Stakes on his way to The Everest

We caught up with Snowden Racing foreman Lindy Wharekura to talk Redzel, babies and life at Snowden Racing!

You’ve worked alongside Peter during his time with Darley and now at Snowden Racing as foreman, tell us a little about your role and what your day might consist of.

I started working for Peter at Darley in December 2008, and this Christmas will mark nine years we have worked together. I started as a stable hand there and progressed to an assistant foreman. I decided to make the move to Randwick with Peter and Paul because I felt there was a greater opportunity to progress working for them.

We’ve been open here at Randwick for three and a half years now and I’d have to say, for the most part, it has been an amazing experience and this position has helped me to grow as a manager and as a horse person.

I am now a foreman at Snowden Racing and, as I’ve been with the team the longest, I fill in everywhere with everything related to the stable. I’m currently running the smallest barn at Snowden Racing which contains 18 horses and consists mostly of two-year-olds.

Generally every morning I organise strappers and riders for the next horses that need to go down to the track. It helps us get the horses down faster and more efficiently.

Afternoons are just about getting the horses out for a little bit of exercise.

What’s the best part of your role?

I love working with babies and watching them develop into little race horses, that is the enjoyment I get every day.

Who is your favourite Triple Crown horse?

It’s hard to say which Triple Crown horse I like the most, but I adore Delfuego (pictured with Lindy below)! Onslaught is another one I have a lot of time for, and of the young ones I really like Misteed (Exceed And Excel x Vital Mist filly). Obviously Richie (Redzel) is very special to all of us! That goes without saying.

What’s your most memorable moment at Snowden Racing?

That’s a hard one to pin point! There have been so many highlights. Shooting To Win and Capitalist winning their Group races are up there. But for me personally, I got a huge kick out of That’s A Good Idea winning the Ortensia Stakes at Scone, smashing the track record. A horse I hold very close to my heart.

lindy-delfuego

There’s a lot of excitement brewing in the Team Snowden and Triple Crown camp right now with Redzel heading to The Everest on October 14, and we reckon you have a large part to do with it! Talk us through #RichieForTheEverest – Did you ever imagine we’d be here, three days out from Redzel contesting the richest sprint race in the world?

When Richie won the Mumm stakes in Melbourne last year, and the concept of the Everest was being thrown about, I had a sneaky thought that this could be our Everest horse! And so the hash tag #RichieForTheEverest came about!

I had faith, a very long time ago!

As the hashtag suggests, Redzel is affectionately known as ‘Richie’ in the yard. How did Redzel get the nickname?

When he originally arrived at Snowden Racing my good friend Briar was set to look after him, and we knew the horse had come from Gerald Ryan’s with a good rap and he was a very good looking colt. So, being typical Kiwis, we decided to name him Richie, after the greatest ever captain of the greatest ever team, Richie McCaw! And it just so happens that there is also a connection with Millrich, his dam.

redzel-richie

Redzel looks to have gone to another level this preparation after winning his maiden Group 1 in the Doomben 10,000 last time in. Was he always destined for Group 1 glory?

We believed he was always destined for glory. He’s always been a very straight forward horse, there’s no drama, or hassle. Like all horses, he has his little behavioral patterns, and like all the best race horses, he is very intelligent.

It’s an exciting time of year as we head into spring. What’s the mood in the stable like?

I honestly can’t remember the last time the whole stable was buzzing with excitement! It’s very similar to Golden Slipper week. To have a very real chance in a $10,000,000 race is so surreal! It’s what we work hard for 365 days a year!

We are also set to see our first two-year-olds take to the track this season. What are the various challenges they have to get through before they arrive at the races?

Two year old racing is awesome; I really enjoy that part of my role. Teaching them the right way to do things, spending that little bit of extra time with them, giving them good experiences so they are never scared of anything! Straightforward babies, who take everything in their stride, are usually the ones who win early two year old races. The best part of my job is to make sure our babies are the most straightforward.

Redzel draws four after impressive final Everest gallop

dsc_2191

REDZEL drew a plum gate of barrier 4 for the world’s richest race on turf after The Everest took to the Sydney Harbour for the barrier draw.

The draw comes after Redzel produced a solid piece of work in his final gallop before Saturday’s $10 Million race on the course proper at Randwick in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Peter Snowden was thrilled with his work and says he is spot on to produce his best over Randwick’s testing 1200m trip.

“He was very sharp this morning and worked very strongly,” said Snowden. “He’s pulled up very well from the work and Kerrin [McEvoy] gave him an excellent report.

“He’s spot on for Saturday and I’m really happy with him. He’s had a good three weeks since his last start and we know he’s at his frightening best when a month between races.

“He looks well and I couldn’t be happier with how he worked this morning.

“We’re all hoping for a good result on Saturday.”

Redzel will jump between The Star’s Redkirk Warrior (barrier 3) and Team Hawkes’s Chautauqua (5) for the lucrative race, and Snowden was pleased with the outcome of the draw.

“It is a good draw, we’re very happy to be positioned there.

“The horse has good gate speed in any case but there is the potential for a fair bit of speed in the race and barrier 4 gives us various options.

“It’s exciting heading into the weekend and the euphoria around the race has been huge. Let’s hope he can get the job done on Saturday!

Redzel eases to trial win ahead of The Everest

redzel-2-hall-mark-stks_resize

REDZEL tuned up for a crack at the $10 Million The Everest on October 14 with a sparkling trial win at Rosehill on Tuesday morning.

Run on the course proper, Redzel jumped smartly under race rider Kerrin McEvoy and tracked the early leader Gambler’s Blues before proving too strong in the straight, winning the trial by a comfortable half length, with fellow Everest contender Deploy a further four and a half lengths back in third.

Redzel is a current $6 chance for TAB-sponsored Everest after winning the Group 3 Concorde Stakes and Group 2 The Shorts this preparation.

The hit out was the perfect lead up for the richest race on turf, and trainer Peter Snowden says he’s on the right track for a big performance at Royal Randwick.

“That was just what we wanted to see leading up to the race Saturday week,” said Snowden. “It was just perfect; he jumped, had something to chase down and pinned his ears back without having any pressure applied to him.

“A good trial and we’re very happy with him. We’ll keep him ticking over now until Saturday week and he’ll be there in good order.”

Courtza too classy on the Coast

courtza-king-sunshine-coast

COURTZA KING produced one of those spectacular displays we all know he’s capable of on Saturday as he toyed with his rivals before ruthlessly disposing of them in the 1200m BenchMark 75 Handicap on the Sunshine Coast.

After settling on the rail in midfield, the son of Northern Meteor travelled sweetly before peeling off the back of horses and exploding at the two furlong pole to deliver a comfortable one and three quarter length success.

The win was one of four for Triple Crown’s Brisbane trainer Tony Gollan, who has been in scintillating form this season.

Gollan said: “It was a phenomenal effort from the horse and he’s put them away easy in the end.

“Jim gave him an excellent ride and the horse was just too good. He’s got a great turn in foot and the horse was just too classy for this grade.”

Photo: Trackside Photography

Redzel nominated for Australian Champion Sprinter of the Year

redzel-2-hall-mark-stks_resize

REDZEL’s Group 1 winning season has seen him nominated for the accolade of Australian Champion Sprinter of the Year.

The now five-year-old joins a shortlist of five horses for the award, with Black Heart Bart, Le Romain, Malaguerra and Chautauqua also nominated.

The winner will be announced in at the Australian Racehorse of the Year ceremony in Brisbane on Sunday, October 8.

Redzel has been arguably the most consistent sprinter over the last 18 months, finishing in the top two in 12 of his last 14 outings, boasting eight wins, including Group 1 success in the Doomben 10,000 in May, and earning over $1 Million in the process.

That form has seen him emerge as a leading contender for the world’s riches race on turf – The Everest – to be showcased on at Royal Randwick on October 14.

The nomination is yet another indication of his growing reputation as one of the country’s leading sprinters, and we wish his owners good luck on awards night!

Photo: Bradley Photographers

Exciting juvenile set for Breeders’ Plate

open-day-invincible-lad-3

TRIPLE CROWN are set to have their first two-year-old of 2017 take the track as Invincible Lad impressed in his latest piece of trackwork, paving the way for a tilt at the Listed Breeders’ Plate at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

The colt by I Am Invincible is out of Stakes winning mare Magdalena (Snaadee) and was purchased for $80,000 as the very first lot sold through the Gold Riband session at the Inglis Classic Sale this year.

Previous winners of the Breeders’ Plate include the likes of Golden Slipper winners Capitalist, Vancouver and Pierro as well as established stallions Sebring, Smart Missile and Snitzel.

The two-year-old is a full brother to Gimcrack runner up Tetsuko and is bred on the same cross as Group 1 winning sprinter Brazen Beau.

Invincible Lad trialed in the official 2YO trials at Canterbury on September 18, finishing second, one and a quarter lengths behind Hiemel, and trainer Peter Snowden has been impressed with his work since.

“He trialed very well and has come through that excellently,” said Snowden. “He worked very well in his gallop on Tuesday and he’ll definitely be heading for the Breeders [Plate] on Saturday.

“He’s developed superbly since I first had him in the stable, both physically and mentally, and his temperament has always been very good.

“He goes there with every chance on Saturday.”