The Champ retires
It is with great emotion, both joyful and sad, that we announce the retirement of REDZEL – the orphan-turned superstar who enabled us all to Live the Dream.
His ownership group have today voted to call time on his glittering race career, one which spanned five years, yielded an astonishing $16,444,000 in prize-money and, most importantly of all, ends with a healthy horse and fond memories at the highest level.
But it wasn’t always the jubilation and euphoria we have come to associate him with, for Redzel’s story is one which began with heartbreak.
His dam Millrich, a Group winner and Golden Slipper placegetter in her own right, died just a few weeks after he was born, leaving the team at Eliza Park Stud with no option but to pair Redzel with a foster mare. Said foster mare was the aptly named Regal Arena, perhaps the earliest premonition that he would later call Royal Randwick his home.
Having already been through the sale ring as a weanling, the son of Snitzel was acquired by Triple Crown Syndications’ Chris and Michael Ward for $120,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. The rest, as they say, is history.
Redzel began his career in the care of Gerald Ryan, breaking his maiden at the first time of asking before finishing third in the Group 3 Kindergarten on his second and final outing as a two-year-old.
Moved to Peter & Paul Snowden at the end of his juvenile season, Redzel recorded a number of stakes victories for his new trainers, though it wasn’t until late in his four-year-old year that he made his presence felt at the highest level.
Beaten a nostril in The Galaxy, Redzel – or ‘Richie’ as he has come to be known by those closest to him – landed the Group 3 Hall Mark on his next start, a victory that kickstarted a remarkable sequence of six consecutive wins and culminated in his coronation as Australia’s Champion Sprinter of 2018.
That sextet of victories included the Group 1 Doomben 10,000, the first of his three Concorde Stakes wins and the Group 1 Darley Classic, but it was another race, a new addition to the calendar that ultimately propelled Richie to newfound heights.
On October 14th 2017, Redzel etched his name into the history books as the first horse to win The Everest – the world’s richest turf race.
On October 13th 2018, he returned to the scene of his greatest triumph – his own back yard – and repeated the feat, etching his name further into the history books as a dual-winner of the world’s richest turf race.
As is customary in any walk of life, advancing years are inevitable and present an array of physical challenges. Arthritic issues forced a brief blip in form, but given the appropriate treatment and ample time to recover, Redzel signalled his return to the top table with a third successive Concorde Stakes victory in 2019 – perhaps the greatest testament to the masterful way in which his career has been handled by Peter & Paul Snowden.
Although an Everest three-peat proved to be a bridge too far, Redzel returned this preparation with three further placings, two of which came at Group 1 level. The most recent of those came when a gutsy third in a vintage renewal of the T J Smith Stakes, where he was again ridden to perfection by Kerrin McEvoy – another pivotal figure in the Redzel story.
That performance, at the grand old age of seven, transpired to be his swansong, and a befitting one at that. It encompassed everything we know and love about Richie – guts, determination and an incredible zest for racing.
He retires a dual winner of The Everest, a race that is now widely regarded as the world’s premier sprint contest. He also retires as a dual Group 1 winner, a Champion Sprinter and the second highest prize-money earner in the history of Australian racing.
His ownership group has now collectively decided to put the horse first to ensure he retires a happy and healthy horse after such a magnificent race career.
To those who bought him as a yearling, he is “the dream horse, beautifully natured and a true champion”. To those who trained him he is “the most genuine horse who we’re lucky to have had”. To Australian Racing, he will forever be remembered as the King of the Mountain.
Happy retirement champ.