Redzel revved up to dash rivals’ hopes again
REDZEL needs to produce an Everest-like effort to beat a crack field and confirm his ranking as the nation's best sprinter in a star-studded Group 1 $2.5 million Darley TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Trainer Peter Snowden admitted as much as he studied Redzel's rivals, singling out In Her Time as the one of the biggest threats.
"This is a great field and Redzel will need to be at his best to win, but he is going into the race in great order,'' Snowden said.
"It probably wasn't ideal having only two 1000m runs leading into Saturday but that was all we could arrange. His trials have been great, his work is very good, so no complaints.
"But In Her Time is a very worthy opponent. She was very good last start in The Galaxy but I wasn't surprised she won so well as her form was great last preparation.''
There is a school of thought that In Her Time would have made a race of it with Redzel in the inaugural The Everest (1200m) last spring if she had gained a start.
In Her Time did race on Everest Day, winning the 1200m Sydney Stakes in 1min 8.26sec, a fractionally faster time than Redzel's 1m 8.36s in The Everest.
But Team Snowden's super sprinter Redzel is the $2.30 favourite with TAB Fixed Odds to win Sydney's biggest sprint of the autumn, ahead of In Her Time at $4.20 and Brave Smash at $7.50.
If Redzel can win his third Group 1 race on Saturday he will take his career earnings to more than $9.6 million and vault into fourth on the all-time prizemoney list behind Winx on $16.5 million, and become the highest stakes-winning sprinter, passing Chautauqua on $8.7 million.
When Chautauqua won this third successive TJ Smith Stakes last year, Redzel wasn't in the field as Snowden waited for the easier Hall Mark Stakes at the end of the autumn carnival.
Snowden identified the moment when Redzel proved he was among the nation's elite sprinters - the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 last May.
"Redzel has really kicked on since he won at Doomben,'' Snowden said. "He has toughened up, he's a seasoned horse now and he is pretty easy to train."
Redzel goes into the TJ Smith Stakes after his brilliant win in the Challenge Stakes last start when he smashed the Randwick 1000m record with a blistering 55.73sec winning time.
"He settled nicely off the hot speed that day,'' Snowden said. "He is very adaptable like that, he is just a good racehorse.''
Snowden confirmed long-term plans for Redzel are centred on defending his title in the $13 million The Everest next spring.
"But there is a fair gap between now and October so we may look at racing him in Brisbane,'' Snowden said.
"He has only had a light autumn so far. The TJ will be only his third run in so there is room to move and we may look at a race like the Doomben 10,000 again.''
AUSTRALIA'S LEADING PRIZEMONEY WINNERS
1. Winx $16,563,925
2. Makybe Diva $14,526,690
3. Sunline $11,351,610
4. Northerly $9,341,850
5. So You Think $8,813,497
6. Chautauqua $8,776,935
7. Redzel $8,221,750
8. Black Caviar $7,953,936
9. Buffering $7,300,190
10. Criterion $7,268,869