By Ray Hickson
Triple Crown director Chris Ward says securing a slot in the Everest with star sprinter Redzel is a ‘’dream come true’’ for everyone associated with the horse.
Redzel was announced on Tuesday night as the sixth confirmed starter in the world’s richest race on turf, the $10m The Everest (1200m) at Randwick on October 14, after a deal was struck with slot holder James Harron.
Ward said Triple Crown negotiated with four slot holders in the past week before settling on a deal with Harron that will see Redzel contest Saturday’s Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick then go straight into The Everest.
“That was at the forefront of negotiations with the various slot holders,’’ Ward said.
“We wanted to give him that preparation, if you go back through his form he’s been lethal off a four week break.
“Getting a slot now gives is that certainty so we can take that path and have a red hot crack at it.’’
More than 20 people share in the ownership of Redzel and it’s an eclectic bunch including police officers, taxi drivers, school teachers, electrician, doctor, and even ex-NSW Sheffield Shield cricket winning coach John Medland.
Redzel leads all the way to win the Concorde Stakes at Randwick - September 23
Pandemonium broke out trackside when Redzel won the $150,000 Concorde so just imagine what could happen if he claims the $5.8 million first prize.
“They are an excited bunch, they certainly get involved and make the most of it,’’ Ward said.
“It really is a dream come true. They’ll certainly know we’re there and the beauty of Redzel is he’ll give us something to cheer about.’’
Redzel joins Chautauqua, English, Fell Swoop, Houtzen and She Will Reign in the Everest field and more confirmations are expected after this weekend’s racing.
Ward said Redzel, a $120,000 yearling purchase, has really emerged as a serious sprinter in 2017 under the care of Peter and Paul Snowden and is rapt that Triple Crown is a part of the inaugural Everest running.
“When Peter V’landys first announced the Everest race and concept I remember thinking ‘gee we’ve got to be a part of this’ and thinking of the horses we had,’’ he said.
“I earmarked Redzel as a potential candidate and it was just down to hoping he went in the right direction.
“It’s a completely new concept and one that’s captured everyone’s imagination and it’s amazing how quickly things can change.
“This game is known for having its twists and turns and this is an exciting one.
“The last 12 months he’s just got better and better. Peter and Paul told us early in the prep he was about 40-50kg bigger and stronger and they’d never seen him looking better.’’
Redzel has steadily climbed the sprinting ranks this year with close seconds to English and Russian Revolution in the Sydney autumn before winning the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes and his first Group 1 in the Doomben 10,000.
The five-year-old really announced himself as an Everest contender with his slick first-up win in the Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick on September 2.
His performance in The Shorts this weekend could see him press Chautauqua for favouritism but Ward said it’s the result on October 14 that matters.
“It’s going to be a very interesting race with the likes of Chautauqua, English and Fell Swoop,’’ he said.
“Everyone will be going in there keen to win it but at the end of the day the grand final is the Everest and everyone has an eye on that.”