Redzel sends ‘red alert’ ahead of The Everest

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WHEN Redzel won the G2 Shorts at Randwick in track record time he sent out a red alert to all the other contestants of the upcoming best sprint race in the world, The Everest. Redzel should no longer have the tag of most improved sprinter in the country. At this stage he is plainly now one of THE best sprinters in the country.

Redzel started his career as a 2yo colt with a three length win over Japonisme in a Warwick Farm maiden, back in March 2015, with Hugh Bowman in the saddle and Gerald Ryan as trainer. Then a few weeks he later ran third to Furnaces in the G3 Kindergarten Stakes at Randwick.  Shortly after this, Redzel was transferred to, arguably, the most astute trainers in the business, Peter and Paul Snowden.

In mid August 2015 they sent Redzel out in the G3 San Domenico followed by the G2 Run To The Rose then the Listed Schweppes Heritage Stakes. He ran fifth on each occasion to the winners Japonisme, Exosphere and Counterattack. The shrewd Snowden father and son duo knew the horse was capable of so much more and convinced the Triple Crown Syndicate group of owners that the colt needed the ultimate gear change to focus on the job at hand. Redzel became a gelding and the most honest sprinter in the land.

Team Snowden moulded Redzel into the perfect racehorse. He leaves the gates like a rocket, is tractable and comes back to the rider with ease but also has a cruising speed that often leaves his opposition needing an extra oxygen supply by the time he is ready to let down and hit full speed. From the time he was gelded he has only been out of a place twice in fourteen starts to date. It’s an imposing record of eight wins and four seconds from those fourteen starts – five wins and two seconds at Group level and two wins in Listed races. His victims include high-level sprinters such as Terravista, Counterattack, Russian Revolution, Ball Of Muscle, English, Takedown, Hellbent and Chautauqua.

The highly successful Triple Crown Syndications paid $120,000 for him at the Magic Millions Gold Coast sale in 2014 and he has now won just a bar shout short of $1.4 million. After nineteen starts he has a winning strike rate of 47.3% and 73.7% place record.

Redzel will go into the Everest with the Team Snowden polish and part of this very professional team that is close to this horse that remain in the background and really deserve some credit are the likes of Julie Walsh. Julie is Redzel’s regular track rider, a lightweight ex jockey from Ireland that spent ten years learning her craft under champion trainer Dermot Weld, One of Julie’s career highlights is strapping an Ascot Gold Cup winner and meeting the Queen. Julie gets a huge kick out seeing the results of her commitment to this horse as does Mark Foster the hardworking strapper that looks after this horse’s needs on the ground. Every day Mark grooms Redzel, icing his legs, brushing him and keeping his box in top order – among other things. Snowdens nominated Mark for the strapper of the year award and Redzel could not have a better person tending to him.

Dan Zupin is the stable foreman in charge of Redzel who started his career with Bart Cummings before moving on to Anthony Cummings and John O’Shea and finally finding a home in the Snowden yard. Dan is an accomplished horseman and an integral part of the team.

Then there is Lindy Wharekura who holds a senior position at Snowdens overseeing all the barns along with Jackson Biers the racing manager. Lindy upon first hearing of the Everest had the magical combination of believing and dreaming that Redzel would make the Everest. Lindy made up the hash tag #richiefortheeverest over twelve months ago (Richie being his stable nickname) and is not in the least surprised it has come to fruition.

The strapper that presents Redzel at the races, Christine Duffy, has been around horses all her life and is establishing herself as a competent track rider at Randwick since leaving her native Victoria. This is just a glimpse into the professional team that is the world of Redzel.

Come October 14th we know that the Everest will be a cracking field in a pressure cooker race and anything can happen in that scenario. While most punters will be wondering if Chautauqua will come over the top of them like a steam train, every jockey in that race will be wondering if they can get past Redzel in full flight on his home track.

Words: Equus Racing

Photo: Bradley Photographers