Thirteen days after Enable goes for an unprecedented three-peat in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1), another two-time defending champion will bid for a very different style of three-peat Down Under. Sprint star Redzel, the only winner in the two-year history of the A$14 million The Everest, aims to maintain his grip on the world’s richest turf race at Randwick on October 19 (or late night Friday, October 18, for those of us on the other side of the globe).
When is The Everest?
October 19, 2019 near 12:30am ET
By Australia’s reigning champion sire Snitzel, Redzel is the last foal from Group 3 scorer Millrich, the third-placer in the famed Golden Slipper (G1) in 1995. Millrich, who also produced Group 3-winning sire Danerich, sadly died a few weeks after Redzel was born.
Redzel was sold for A$120,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale to Triple Crown Syndicate. An ownership group with numerous partners, the Triple Crown Syndicate includes “everyday Australians” who furnish a feel-good story line as Redzel’s bankroll has surpassed the A$15 million mark. In Australian racing history, only the phenomenal Winx has earned more.
Although a stakes-quality performer at two and three, Redzel reached a new level as an older gelding for father-and-son training team Peter and Paul Snowden. After just getting caught by Russian Revolution in the Galaxy (G1) in March 2017, he reeled off a six-race winning spree including a Group 1 breakthrough in the Doomben 10,000 (G1) and the inaugural Everest.
Redzel won both preps at Randwick for that 2017 Everest, wiring the Concorde (G3) and attending the leader in The Shorts (G2) before kicking clear in a course-record 1:01.83 for 1100 meters (about 5 1/2 furlongs).
In the inaugural Everest, Redzel worked out virtually the same ideal trip. The same couldn’t be said for favorite Vega Magic, who dropped back from a wide draw, covered extra ground, and gained too late.
Redzel followed up his first Everest coup with another score in the Darley Classic (G1) a month later. He remained in good form in early 2018 with a course-record victory in the Challenge (G2), a near-miss in the Black Caviar Lightning (G1), and a second in the T.J. Smith (G1).
At this time last year, however, Redzel didn’t have a straightforward preparation going into his Everest title defense. He resumed with a victory in the 2018 Concorde, but a setback forced him to miss The Shorts. The Premiere (G2) was his backup plan, and a tiring fifth to Everest foes led by Santa Ana Lane left some questions about whether he’d be able to repeat.
As it turned out, Redzel was trained to the minute to peak on Everest Day, and he got an assist from the rain. The heavy track was no obstacle to him, but it was to others, and Redzel got away with poaching it on the front end.
The rest of Redzel’s 2018-2019 season was anticlimactic, thanks to physical issues that subsequently came to light. Team Snowden has since gotten him back on song as he gears up for his third Everest.
Achieving a three-peat in the September 7 Concorde, Redzel was a prepping third in The Shorts on September 21, and he’s likely to be presented at his best on Everest Day. The question now is whether his best will be good enough versus the surging Pierata and up-and-comer Classique Legend, the top two from The Shorts; old foe Santa Ana Lane who’s a different proposition on quicker going; and a distaff battalion featuring Arcadia Queen and Sunlight.
Climbing the Everest Stakes, TwinSpires partners with the Kentucky Equine Humane Center…
TwinSpires has a reason to cheer Redzel on, thanks to the “Climbing the Everest” charity promotion offered by Sky Racing. Twelve U.S. racing personalities or organizations randomly drew an Everest rooting interest to race in support of their designated charity, and TwinSpires landed Redzel. A three-peat would not only mean another fortune for Redzel’s bankroll, but it would also net $5,000 for TwinSpires’ charity of choice, the Kentucky Equine Humane Center, courtesy of Sky Racing World.