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It’s on! Redzel locked and loaded for racing’s richest hat-trick

All has fallen into place to ensure the two-time defending champion is ready for another crack at Australia’s richest race, The Everest, at Randwick on October 19.

Having secured a ticket to Australian sprinting’s ‘Big Dance’, The Everest hat-trick is very much on for star sprinter Redzel (Snitzel), who has returned to Peter and Paul Snowden’s stable in top condition after a slightly under-par autumn campaign.

When Redzel headed to the paddock two months ago after his defeat in the G2 Victory S., there were two obstacles to his defence of The Everest title which he has held for past two years.

The first was the rising 7-year-old’s fitness and wellbeing, and the second was getting a slot to get into a race which had already been half-subscribed four months out from being run.

There are few guarantees in horse racing and even fewer in a slot race limited to 12 runners. But managing owner Triple Crown Syndication’s Chris Ward knew if Redzel could return from his break in good order, he should have enough runs on the board to ensure he was at least in the race.

“I was always very confident he was going to get a slot. At the end of the day, you only need one and I think you are always going to have people who will move very early and some slot holders who will wait for the final weeks, so I wasn’t too concerned on that type of thing,” he told TDN AusNZ.

“Being a dual champion of the race, he was always going to end up with a good chance of getting the slot and I was confident of him doing so.” – Chris Ward

“Being a dual champion of the race, he was always going to end up with a good chance of getting the slot and I was confident of him doing so.”

Also helping things was the fact that Yulong, which was the successful slotholder last year, was yet to fill its slot. Short of a contender emerging from its own racing stables, it was always highly likely to be involved once it became clear that Redzel had bounced off his break well.

“They have always been interested ever since we won it last year. They have obviously been monitoring things and waiting until a time suits them as well. We are really pleased to be able to team up with them and try and replicate last year’s result,” Ward said.

Yulong also share a strong connection with the Snowden stable and have raced several horses successfully with the Randwick-based father and son training partnership.

For Ward, there is no stable better placed in Australia to peak a runner in a target race and he is assured they will have Redzel spot on at Randwick on October 19 for the world’s richest turf race.

“I don’t think any trainers do it better than them. That’s why they are dubbed the ‘Grand Final trainers’. They are incredible trainers as far as peaking horses for their Grand Final day and that’s what it’s all about,” he said.

“Consistency in how they can do that is a testament to their horsemanship, and at the end of the day and if you can win a couple of lead-up races it is all good and well, but to be peaking on the right day is crucial and they can do it better than anyone.”

You certainly can’t argue with the Snowdens’ record in that regard. Peter Snowden’s effort to coax Redzel back from a setback which saw him scratched from a crucial lead-up run to last year’s race was one of training efforts of last season.

All the right attributes

Ward said that experience and skill, combine with the attributes of the horse himself was what has contributed to the amazing success the horse had experienced in a 33-start career which featured 14 wins and yielded $15.56 million in prizemoney.

“He’s incredible. He’s exceptional. He hasn’t had a lame day in his life apart from in the lead into last year’s Everest when he just got cast in his box. But that came and went quickly,” Ward said.

“He’s just been bombproof and he’s got the best attitude you can imagine. He’s just so laid back and relaxed almost to the point that before races Kerrin (McEvoy) has to wake him up a little bit.”

“Most sprinters have got bounce and edge to them, but he is so cool, calm and relaxed and he handles all the raceday pressure with ease. He conserves all his energy and I think that bears fruit in his races and that’s where he puts all his energy.”

New-look line-up

Of the other six horses already licked in for the Everest, the only two to return from last year are Santa Ana Lane (Lope De Vega {Ire}) and In Her Time (Time Thief).

Classique Legend (Not A Single Doubt) has emerged as a rising star through his late 3-year-old year, while the fillies turned mares Sunlight (Zoustar) and Arcadia Queen (Pierro) have already proven themselves against open class Group 1 opposition as 3-year-olds. Pierata (Pierro) has proven himself worthy of top class with his last-start win in the G1 All Aged S.

Ward is very much looking forward to seeing how his old champ can measure up to the emerging stars of Australian sprinting.

“I think it’s going to be another outstanding race. It has very quickly formed itself as the pinnacle of sprint racing in Australia and probably the world,” he said.

“There are some good up-and-coming young horses. It will be interesting to see what they can do.” – Chris Ward

“I think it’s a different looking field, there won’t be many returning, It’s shaping up particularly well, there are some good up-and-coming young horses. It will be interesting to see what they can do, up against the more seasoned horses. It’s going to be an exciting race.”

Making his own mark

So where would a three-peat in Australia’s richest race sit in the country’s rich racing history? The race may be only three years old, but it has already established itself in the top echelon of Australia’s races, promoting the sport far beyond the novelty initially predicted by many.

Redzel’s profile as a dual winner of the race, as well as of two other Group 1 races, the VRC Sprint Classic and the G1 Doomben 10,000, has probably been overshadowed by the unprecedented success of the supermare Winx (Street Cry {Ire}).

But Ward is happy for the fanfare to come should it be due after a tilt at a third win in The Everest.

“He’s been an exceptional racehorse. He was champion sprinter last year for a reason.” – Chris Ward

“At times it’s been the full-on fanfare and then there are times when you wonder if it’s a little underestimated what he has done. I guess the defining feature of the horse is his extreme consistency in what he has done over his career,” he said.

“It’s pretty rare to get a horse to perform as consistently as he has at that top level. He’s been an exceptional racehorse. He was champion sprinter last year for a reason.”

By Bren O’Brien

TDN Aus/NZ

Magnificent Double

Saturday’s meeting at Eagle Farm was the final day of Brisbane’s Winter Carnival and the carnival closed with a bang for the team in red!

It was a winning double for Triple Crown Syndications with Smartedge (by Smart Missile) winning race 5 and then Brave Song (by Your Song) duly saluted on race 9, the Group 3 WJ Healy Stakes.

The talented Smartedge was travelling a long way back in the field and spotting the leaders quite some margin before hoop Larry Cassidy started looking for the right run and pushed the button. Smartedge responded with his outstanding turn-of-foot and flashed home to grab the impressive victory on the line.

The in-form Brave Song had laid down three consecutive 2nds (and very impressive 2nds at that) prior to Saturday’s Healy Stakes. He kept drawing the outside gates and as a result was just getting too far back against quality opposition before reeling off closing sectionals that only very talented horses can produce. An improved barrier and terrific ride by Blake Shinn made all the difference as Brave Song stormed home to a comfortable and well deserved win.

Both horses have been primed for these victories by Peter & Paul Snowden and whilst Smartedge has returned to Sydney in search of his next targets, Brave Song has gone to the paddock for a brief spell before coming back to target the Spring Carnival.

A big congratulations to both sets of our owners!!

BRAVE WIN FOR IN TUNE SPRINTER

There’s every chance Michele Morley didn’t need a plane to fly back to Sydney on Sunday.

Morley had ventured to Brisbane on Saturday to watch Brave Song go around in the Group Three WJ Healy Stakes over 1200m at Eagle Farm but, 300m from home, it appeared her 4YO sprinter was going to need a fair amount of luck.

Ah, the irony. In Brave Song’s previous three starts this campaign the flashy bay had run second in the Group Three Hall Mark at Randwick – beaten a long neck after drawing barrier 10 in a field of 11; finished second at Scone in the Listed Luskin Star, three quarters of a length off the winner after jumping from the next to outside gate and; then, in the Group Two Moreton Cup at Doomben on 1 June – barrier eight in a field of eight – he  missed by a lip.

In the Healy however, the gods were smiling as Brave Song drew barrier one, yet – wouldn’t you know it – he still found himself behind a wall of horses approaching the business end of the race.

Even sweeter then for Morley and her fellow owners when Brave Song powered through, taking the lead at the 100m mark and scoring with plenty in hand.

Saturday’s victory brings Brave Song’s tally to six wins and seven placings from 18 starts for $537,870 in prizemoney, with the Your Song gelding’s previous best being the Listed Ladbrokes Village Stakes last October.

“You simply can’t describe the feeling when your horse wins a race like that,” said an elated Morley. “We bought into Brave Song through Triple Crown Syndications and we’re in with a terrific bunch of owners … and I reckon about two thirds of them were there at Eagle Farm. Incredible!”

Morley first got involved in racehorse ownership around three years ago, purchasing a small share in another Triple Crown runner: multiple city winner, Poetic Charmer.

“My husband grew up around horses and he got me interested, but you have your priorities with a young family. However, with the kids all grown up, I started doing quite a bit of research into ownership,” Morley explains. “Chris and Michael (Ward) have done a fantastic job at Triple Crown and I’ve currently got four small shares in horses with them. Brave Song’s my first stakeswinner though and what a fantastic horse … he’s taken us from Sydney to Melbourne, back to Sydney, to Scone and now Brisbane. Some people can go a lifetime without a horse like this and we know how lucky we are. It’s been an amazing ride.

“I’ve always been a huge fan of (trainers) Peter and Paul Snowden too and probably even a bigger fan after Saturday. They’re really down to earth.

“A few of the other people in Brave Song live relatively close by but the thing I’ve found about Triple Crown is that even the owners in the other syndicates will ring up and wish you luck before a race.

“It’s not about the money … sure, when you get a good one it pays a few bills, but there’s no amount of money in the world that will give you a thrill like I experienced on Saturday. Highly recommended!”

Brave Song is one of three stakes winners for Widden Stud’s Group One BTC Cup winner, Your Song, and is a half brother to three winners, including another 6-time winner in Gangster’s Choice.

Brave Song’s dam, Brave Choice, meanwhile, is a winning daughter of the remarkable dual Group One star, Bravery, dam of nine winners (from as many to race), including Group Two winner, Brave Prince and stakes winner, Valourina, in turn, the dam of stakes winners Timbourina, Media and Cardinal Virtue. Indeed, other black type winning descendants include Group One Railway Stakes winner, Galaxy Star, dual Perth Cup winner, Star Exhibit, Noire and Enticing Star – all stakes winners this season.

Usually purchasing around 18 yearlings annually, Triple Crown’s Chris and Michael Ward spotted Brave Song among the Yarraman Park Stud draft at the 2016 Inglis Sydney Classic Yearling Sale, eventually paying $67,500 for the privilege.

“It was a pretty good day at the office for Triple Crown with Smartedge winning his fourth race earlier in the Eagle Farm program,” Chris Ward enthused. “As for Brave Song, he’s got quite a few options following Saturday’s win … he’ll go out for a short break now, but will stay up at Washpool Lodge in Queensland and try and catch some of that sunshine.

“Brave Song will most likely be targeted at those new million dollar sprints in November: The Hunter at Newcastle and The Gong at Kembla.

“He’s always been an ‘eye catcher’ … a magnificent physical type and a really good mover. Basically ticks all the boxes. He’s from the first crop of Your Songs and while a lot of them go early, as Brave Song did, they seem to get even better as they mature.

“Brave Song is certainly on an upward trend and I really think he can take it to the next level.”

HOOFNOTE: It was announced last week that Yulong Investments has again secured the coveted ‘slot’ for Triple Crown’s star performer, Redzel, in this year’s $14 million The Everest.

The only horse to win the two runnings of The Everest thus far, Redzel has just recently returned to work after a mixed autumn campaign which yielded no wins but included seconds in the Group Two Challenge and Victory Stakes.

“We’re rapt with the way Redzel’s come back,” Ward adds. “He had a few niggling problems last time in which we’ve got sorted and he’s really got that old attitude back. The plan at this stage is for him to resume in the (Group Three) Concorde Stakes (over 1000m at Royal Randwick) in September.”

Redzel won the Concorde last year when resuming, then ran fifth in the Group Two Premiere later that month before going on to capture the Everest.

  • by Greg Tobin (AusHorse)

Brave Song Looks To Convert Impeccable Form

In-form sprinter Brave Song has produced three blinding runs this preparation for three very close 2nds. It is fair to say all three runs were winning performances without actually winning as each time he drew the unfriendly outside barriers and by default ended up too far back and giving very good horses like Trekking too many lengths head-start.

Saturday’s WJ Healy Stakes at Eagle Farm maps very differently for Brave Song. This time he has drawn barrier 1 and jockey Blake Shinn will have the opportunity to have him a bit closer in the run. Triple Crown’s Chris Ward says “It is a quality field with some very talented runners. It is a Group 3 race after-all but in saying that, it probably looks a two horse race on paper. Brave Song and Victorem look the main hopes to me and they have drawn next to each other. No doubt both horses will need the right luck at the right time to find the gaps when needed.”

Brave Song’s closing sectionals have been nothing short of exceptional all preparation and Victorem was impressive in winning the Hinkler last start. “Both horses tend to get back and flash home late, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them coming home together in what may be a ding-dong battle to the line. We wouldn’t swap Brave Song for anyone and Blake is in outstanding form at the moment. It’s going to be a great race.” Ward said.

Misteed Storms Home To Victory

Misteed storms to victory

MISTEED, the 3yo filly by Exceed And Excel, had to show her scintillating turn-of-foot on Wednesday to score a stunning win at Canterbury. Jockey Blake Shinn had her travelling beautifully in a mid-field position but half way down the straight it looked as though she might be a good thing beaten. It wasn’t until inside the last 100m that a split came and she exploded through for what was a comfortable win on the line. Misteed is a very talented filly and relishes the wet track conditions which is a big bonus at this time of year. We should be in for a nice preparation with her.

Congratulations to her excited owners and well done to Snowden Racing and Blake Shinn!

Redzel Stakes set to feature in revamped Everest Carnival

THE DUAL Everest winner Redzel will have a $1 million race named after him after Racing NSW announced further injections of prize money to the Everest Carnival for spring 2019.

The race, known as the ‘Winners’ Stakes, will be named after the Everest winner from the corresponding year, and will be run over 1300m at Rosehill Gardens under set weights and penalties, on the same card as the new $7.5 million Golden Eagle on November 2. For the 2019 edition, the race will therefore be known as The Redzel Stakes.

Redzel, who took both the inaugural running of The Everest in 2017 and retained his title in 2018, in front of a record crowd at Royal Randwick, is now the second highest prize money earner in Australian Racing history, with $15.56 million in Stakes earnings.

The announcement of a supporting race comes amid further changes to The Everest Carnival announced on Monday, with two new standalone meetings at Kembla Grange and Newcastle both featuring $1 million races, as well as additional races that include the $500,000 Silver Eagle, a lead up race for the 4YOs into the Golden Eagle to be run over 1300m, and the Hot Danish Stakes – a $500,000 event over 1400m for the fillies and mares.

Total prize money for The Everest Carnival now stands at a colossal $45 million, with The Everest now boasting a prize pool of $14 million. Click here for a full list of changes to the spring program.

Brave Song chases Group 2 honours in Moreton Cup

BRAVE SONG will look to give Triple Crown owners Group-race glory on consecutive weekends when he takes on the Group 2 Moreton Cup at Doomben on Saturday.

Following on from Military Zone’s superb success in the Group 3 Fred Best last weekend, Brave Song arrives in Brisbane with every chance of becoming Triple Crown’s 12th individual Group-race winner after two runner-up performances in Stakes company this preparation.

The latest of those was at Scone in the Luskin Star Stakes, as the leading son of Your Song rattled home from the rear but was just enable to catch the winner Trekking.

He’ll have to contend with another wide barrier draw here as he jumps from the widest alley on Saturday, however trainer Peter Snowden feels he has every chance of coming away successful.

“He’s been nice and bright in his work,” said Snowden. “He needs a little of luck from that draw in what’s a very good field but we’ve got an excellent rider on board in James McDonald and the way he’s been performing of late gives him every chance on Saturday.

“If he’s able to get right run we know he’s good late and we feel he’s up to this company.”

A strong contingent take their place at Rosehill for the Triple Crown team, with Reelem In Ruby chasing a second win of her preparation in the Fillies & Mares handicap over 1400m, while Onslaught and Poetic Charmer return first up in the Benchmark 88 Handicap over 1200m. Island Missile will look to build on his excellent second first up when stepping up to the 1500m tomorrow.

Stakes winner Secret Trail sells for $700,000

STAKES WINNING mare SECRET TRAIL fetched a superb result at the Magic Millions Broodmare Sale when selling in foal to Newgate Farm’s Russian Revolution for $700,000, as Widden Stud purchased the daughter of Denman.

A winner of the Listed Bright Shadow Stakes at Doomben on her penultimate start on the track, Secret Trail earned over $500,000 in prize money after her $135,000 yearling purchase, in a glittering career that included a second placed finish at the Magic Millions in 2018.

She will now follow in the footsteps of fellow Triple Crown Stakes winning mares to head to Widden Stud, including Group 1 winner Peggy Jean who sold for $1 million in 2016, and Group 2 winner Flying Snitzel.

A great result for her owners and one that caps an excellent journey in racehorse ownership for the group! Congratulations to all and thanks goes to Yarraman Park for preparing our mares in such excellent order.

$7.5 million Golden Eagle on Military’s radar after Fred Best triumph

THE new $7.5 million Golden Eagle is on the radar of Triple Crown’s Military Zone after a stunning victory in the Group 3 Fred Best Classic at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Sydney Racing’s newest feature event was announced in December last year as a 1500m race for the four-year-olds, and will act as the final act in the three part trilogy that includes the Golden Slipper for two-year-olds and Golden Rose for three-year-olds.

Military Zone, the leading Australian progeny of boom sire Epaulette, secured his third win at Stakes level when powering home at the Brisbane track to defeat Baccarat Baby by a length. The $140,000 purchase from the Inglis Premier Sale has now earned $463,530 for his owners, who duly celebrated in style.

The three-year-old was a nomination for the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap in a fortnight’s time, however the decision was taken to prepare him for a spring preparation and a potential berth in the lucrative Golden Eagle at Rosehill Gardens.

“It’s a good dilemma to be in with the horse and we’d had our eye on the Stradbroke for a little while,” said Triple Crown’s Chris Ward to the Weekend Big Sports Breakfast team.

“But we don’t want to over do things with him at this stage. He’s not the finished product at the moment and it’s a case of either going one more or pulling up stumps, and at this moment in time I think we’re best off pulling up stumps. I think there’s a lot in store for him in the future.

“We’ve had a very high opinion of him from for a long time. He’s been one of those who has showed nice ability from day one and keeps progressing.

“Certainly a race like the Golden Eagle is in the back of the mind. There’s a nice $7.5 million carrot there as a 4Yo race over 1500m which could be right up his alley.”

Photo: Darren Winningham

 

Epaulette claims another Group winner as filly strikes in Sires Produce

EPAULETTE continues his momentum as the land’s most exciting young sire as he claimed yet another 2YO Group win to his name as She Shao Fly sprouted wings to win the Group 2 Sires’ Produce at Morphetville on Saturday.

Already with a Champion 2YO to his name, Epaulette has the same number of first-crop Group winners as Zoustar, making him one of the most successful first-season sires in Australian history.

His progeny include multiple Group 1 winner SOQRAT, as well as Triple Crown’s dual Stakes winner MILITARY ZONE who takes on Group 1 features in Brisbane next month.

With just limited shares available in our Epaulette filly who is a half-sister to a 2YO Stakes placegetter, now is the perfect time to join the Triple Crown & Epaulette winning team as we race this filly towards the Golden Slipper!

Shares are available NOW from only $6,995! CLICK HERE for more details of how you can Live The Dream of racehorse ownership with Triple Crown!

EPAULETTE ex SLEIGHT OF HAND Filly

• By EPAULETTE – the sire of CHAMPION 2YO SOQRAT, and with more Group winners than any other Australian first-season sire in history!

• The same sire as our outstanding two-time Stakes winner MILITARY ZONE & recent Randwick winner CHARRETERA!

• Both the breeder and Three Bridges Farm who reared her have bought back into the horse – a great vote of confidence in the filly!!

  • A 2YO STAKES WINNING FAMILY!! 

• Half sister to the multiple winning & Stakes placed 2YO RAMPAGE Our filly is a massive upgrade in stallion!!

• Out of a daughter of Leading 2YO Free Handicap Filly & multiple Group-winning juvenile LODORE MAGIC!

• Out of a half-sister to the dam of 2YO Group 2 winner MS FUNOVITS

EPAULETTE is a sire off to a flyer with Champion 2YO and Group 1 winner, SOQRAT, Australian stakes winners MERYL, KHULASSA & SHE’S SHAO FLY, February 2019 black type winners COSSETOT and ROCK DOVE and, of course, Triple Crown’s Gosford Guineas & Hawkesbury Guineas hero, MILITARY ZONE

WE LATCHED ON TO SNITZEL EARLY (HOT SNITZEL, REDZEL, FLYING SNITZEL) & NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY THE EPAULETTES!!!

“This is an early running 2YO type. She is a classy, athletic type of filly who we will be aiming towards the Golden Slipper. I love these types of fillies.”Michael Ward.

• Selected by Triple Crown’s Chris & Michael Ward, purchasers of REDZEL, HOT SNITZEL, PEGGY JEAN, DOTHRAKI, MOSS TRIP, FLYING SNITZEL and many more!

• To be trained by world renowned pair of Peter and Paul Snowden, the trainers of EPAULETTE himself and of Triple Crown’s 2017 ($10 million) and 2018 ($13 million) The Everest winner REDZEL!

• Shares available now from just $6,995 per 5% or $13,990 per 10%