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Take it as Red, the champ is back

4 min read
Redzel provided too much class for his rivals to match in the Concorde S. seeing off the challenge of Everest rival Invincible Star along the way.

Redzel (Snitzel {Aus}) made a statement on Saturday at Randwick. He is still the king of Australian sprinters.

It is going to take a considerable effort for anyone to shake the crown from the 6-year-old's head as he builds towards the defence of The TAB Everest, the world's richest turf race, on October 13.

As he did 12 months ago, Redzel provided too much class for his rivals to match in the Concorde S. seeing off the challenge of Everest rival Invincible Star (I Am Invincible {Aus}) along the way.

"There is improvement to come. We were confident we had enough to get us by today for the big one in October," Paul Snowden on Redzel.

Redzel winning the Group 2 Concorde Stakes

For co-trainer Paul Snowden, it was a perfect first step towards what could be a particularly lucrative spring.

“It’s very satisfying knowing what we have got in front of us. Just watching him parade out the back, it was the first time I’ve seen him break a bit of a sweat pre-race because it shows he’s got a bit left in the tank," he said.

"There is improvement to come. We were confident we had enough to get us by today for the big one in October."

The step to The Everest will be identical as it was the first time around, with one more run in The G2 Shorts in two weeks' time before a four-week break.

"There is no need to change as it suits. It’s a recipe that works well with him,” Snowden said.

Defying the market

The Everest loomed large in all conversations ahead of this race, with Invincible Star making her comeback from a ten-month layoff but having already secured her spot in the $13 million event thanks to Greg Ingham's GPI Racing, who opted to give the speedy mare their slot two weeks ago.

That show of faith in Invincible Star's speed and development was mirrored in the betting ring pre-race as she challenged and then surpassed Redzel for favouritism.

Redzel owners celebrating his latest win

But even over the 1000m, with Invincible Star setting three consecutive sub-11-second sectionals on the pace, jockey Kerrin McEvoy never looked panicked.

Redzel is a no-nonsense style of horse once the blinkers go on, and he simply knuckled down to his task late in the race to beat Kaepernick (Fastnet Rock {Aus}), who camped on the leaders, by a length with Invincible Star a fading third.

“It is good to see him back, he has taken all before him and a few people jumped off but he has been pleasing us at home and it’s good to have him back and in winning form,” McEvoy said.

“Peter and Paul (Snowden) know him back to front and in two weeks' time we go again, and a nice little rest into the Everest so I am looking forward to this time of the year when it is great to be on these types of horses.”

The vanquished

"She went brilliant. She has had nine months off, taking on the best sprinter, the reigning champion for the Everest," James McDonald.

On face value, it would be hard to see how Invincible Star would turn the tables on Redzel in The Everest, but jockey James McDonald feels the mare would take enormous benefit from the run.

"She went brilliant. She has had nine months off, taking on the best sprinter, the reigning champion for the Everest," he said.

"Six furlongs will suit her because of the tempo, she’ll be able to, obviously not get a soft lead in The Everest, but it will be a different tempo to having Redzel breathing down your neck and putting her to the sword. She hasn’t had that kind of racing for 9-10 months. She will improve a lot.”