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What You Missed: Royal Randwick

By Brad Gray

Crowd On Point For Peter Snowden In excess of 33,000 patrons piled into Royal Randwick for the inaugural running of The Everest, and in all my years of attending races in Sydney have never quite felt anything like the buzz around the track.

Yes, I am close to The Everest concept but inevitably I wasn’t alone with champion trainer Peter Snowden echoing the sentiment after Redzel won the $10 million sprint feature.

“It’s so good. You don’t hear a roar when they jump in Sydney. They never have. It’s the first time I’ve ever heard it here. This race means a lot to a lot of people,” he said.

It’s been well publicised that Snowden rated the win the highlight of his illustrious career but it wasn’t just because of the cash carrot.

“The money is great but for me it was all about the race with the best sprinters in the land. It’s been a tremendous ride,” he said.

Harron On A High After Everest Climb James Harron was one of the first slot holders to commit to The Everest. Originally he had Pariah pencilled in but after the colt didn’t assert dominance over his own age, Harron turned his attention to Triple Crown’s Redzel.

“Thanks to Peter and Paul Snowden. We put a lot of faith in them with a lot of business and this was just another endorsement of the belief we have in them as well as Kerrin McEvoy,” Harron said.

“We went into this concept treating it as a business decision and if we didn’t have a horse suitable we wanted the next best thing. Redzel was that and has a great team around him.

“What a day. What a thrill. Hats off to Peter V’landys, ATC, Racing NSW. This is like nothing I’ve ever seen on a racecourse before. Ever. It’s absolutely unbelievable.

So will James Harron Bloodstock be locking in Redzel for the 2018 running of The Everest?

“Hopefully they give us first dibs!”

Not Her Time What could have been for the bonny In Her Time.

The Ben Smith-trained mare could count herself a touch unlucky not to have been a contender in the TAB Everest after taking out the Premiere Stakes a fortnight ago. However, she picked up the lion’s share of the $500,000 Everest consolation, the Sydney Stakes (1200m).

“She is a lovely horse. It is strange she didn’t end up in The Everest but she’s got the consolation anyway,” said jockey Corey Brown.

The five-year-old, who is rated the second best mare in the country behind only Winx, looks a Group One winner in waiting. Perhaps it’ll come as soon as next start when she tackles the Manikato Stakes.

“It was good. I was a bit worried the way she put on weight during the week I thought she might have been a bit big but it was great, she’s come out and got the job done today and ran good time,” Smith said after the win.

Happy Clapper Doesn’t Stay I wrote an article earlier in the week putting forward Happy Clapper as the second best horse in the country. When I queried Blake Shinn, he agreed but was quick to point out only over the mile. How right he was.

The Epsom winner is exceptional over 1600m but his narrow second in the Craven Plate behind Classic Uniform suggests he doesn’t quite get 2000m. He was entitled to win as $1.50 favourite.

“We rode him to get the distance today,” Shinn reported after the race.

“He loomed at the 300m. He probably wasn’t in the right part of the track but he still ran well.”

Duking It Out In The St Leger Big Duke was a popular winner of the $500,000 Heineken 3 St Leger Stakes (2600m) for punters being backed into $2.20 with TAB Fixed Odds.

Cast your mind back to last campaign and he was the horse the broke the Sydney curse for the Darren Weir stable. So will the stable continue to look at taking on the Sydney stayers?

“Up until this horse broke the duck it was hard going but there is a bit of an opportunity there,” said stable representative Jarrod McLean.

“We came up here thinking it would be the softer option over the Herbert Power. Our ultimate goal this preparation has been the Melbourne Cup and we realistically think he is a top 10 chance.”

Watch out for further improvement again from Big Duke when he steps next in the Moonee Valley Cup.

Brenton Avdulla, who gave him a Group One ride, believes the horse “has got Group One ability.”

Check out the replays and results for Everest Day at Royal Randwick

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