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Redzel still rising

5 min read
With two Group 1 wins and two Everests to his credit, Redzel (Snitzel) is far from done with plundering Australia's sprinting riches.

Ahead of Redzel's (Snitzel) defence of his G1 VRC Sprint Classic on Saturday, managing owner Chris Ward of Triple Crown Syndications believes the evergreen sprinter is still open to improvement in the coming 12 months.

Courtesy of successive wins in Australia's richest race, The Everest, Redzel is now second on the all-time Australian prizemoney list with over $15 million, trailing only the great Winx (Street Cry {Ire}) in that regard.

Ward, who runs Triple Crown with his brother Michael, believes Redzel, now six, is a better horse than when he swept all before him last spring with four straight wins culminating in the G1 VRC Spring Classic on the final day of the Flemington carnival.

Michael and Chris Ward with Redzel's 2018 Everest trophy

"It is very hard to say definitively, but I feel like he's improved in the last 12 months myself. Just the way he came back at the start of this preparation, he won the Concorde S. there in better time than the previous year," he told TDN AusNZ.

"It was more just in the manner and how he did it. He did have a legitimate excuse at his next run (the Premiere S.), where he was far too fresh and went too keen in front. The Everest was probably a stronger edition this year than the previous year as well. I think he has continued to develop and improve over the last 12 months for sure."

It’s an opinion shared by co-trainer Paul Snowden, who speaking on RSN on Friday, said Redzel had become a tougher and more seasoned horse, which meant that he has improved as he has get older.

Redzel winning the 2018 Everest

"He's that good at it, he's that tough, he's a seasoned campaigner now and nothing worries him." - Paul Snowden

"Considering what we saw last year, I have to say, he has been better all preparation this year so he has to be better than last year," Snowden said.

"The biggest thing for this horse, when he was younger, he'd take six to eight days to get over a run where he really exerted himself. Nowadays, it only takes two days. That's the difference with him now."

"He's that good at it, he's that tough, he's a seasoned campaigner now and nothing worries him."

Another summit?

With Snowden and his father Peter both having so much faith in the longevity of the horse, it isn’t too much of a stretch for the owners to think he will be back to contest The Everest for a third time in 2019.

"He's a gelding, so there's no stud career to protect. As long as he's healthy and enjoying his racing, he’ll kick on," Ward said.

"He's a lightly raced horse really. He's got a lot of racing in front of him, and that (a shot at The Everest) is firmly in our sights, if he can do it three times, that'd be incredible."

"He's a gelding, so there's no stud career to protect. As long as he's healthy and enjoying his racing, he’ll kick on." - Chris Ward

What Redzel has done has already been incredible for Triple Crown, who paid $120,000 for him at the 2014 Magic Millions.

Not even Winx can match his return in terms of sale price to prizemoney (125 times), and Ward said the knock-on effect for the rest of the industry will be significant.

Redzel cost only $120,000 as a yearling

"We're fortunate to have such a high-quality horse at this time, when a race like The Everest has come up. We’ve been fortunate to be able to take advantage of that," Ward said.

"He's just been outstanding and to win that sort of money for his owners is terrific and it’s great for racing. It gets all them back involved in the game further. it’s great on many fronts."

Ready for anything

As for his assignment on Saturday, Ward says Redzel has been given the perfect preparation for what looks one of the most intriguing races of the carnival.

Peter Snowden, Michael Ward, Paul Snowden and Chris Ward

"I think he's going super. I think he can run another bold race. He's a big show to hopefully repeat what he did last year," he said.

"They’ll all be looking for us, we don’t have to look for anyone else pretty much." - Paul Snowden

It’s a confidence shared by his trainer, with Snowden predicting Redzel's versatility will be a key asset against his 13 rivals.

"The beauty of this horse. He rides the speed, and he doesn’t have to be dictated to by any other runner," he said. "They’ll all be looking for us, we don’t have to look for anyone else pretty much."

"If someone wants to lead, they can take us on. We’ll hand it up, but we certainly won't be giving it away. There are some good finishers in there and we want to make it hard for them."