The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
The Everest winner Redzel relished a return to Royal Randwick on Guineas Day, flying home to set a new 1000m track record with his impressive Challenge Stakes 2018 win.
The track continued to play ideally for speedy performances in the fifth as the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained favourite Redzel saluted for the punters in 55.73 seconds in the Group 2 $500,000 Challenge Stakes (1000m).
Second to English in the race last year, the magnificent son of Snitzel took his career earnings up over $8 million second-up improving on the shock late second to Redkirk Warrior at Flemington last time out in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m).
Over the same distance today the gun five-year-old appreciated getting back to his pet track in Sydney, Redzel making it six from nine at Randwick Racecourse.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy had the $1.40 favourite settled third with cover as the Challenge Stakes field was led around by Marc Conners’ super speedy Hinchinbrook mare Super Too.
She took the front running up from the always honest Mick Bell-trained Group 1 placegetter and known mudlark Jungle Edge who did surprisingly well on his less-than-ideal racing surface.
Super Too set a cracking speed and had a big margin to spare getting onto the straight.
From the 300m however Redzel started to cover the margin quickly, flying through his gears and surpassing the pace-setting mare to power away for a quality win over the roughie Jungle Edge ($81), while Super Too ($15) held to round out the Challenge Stakes trifecta in third.
“I’m just lucky to ride the horse,” McEvoy said post-win.
“He’s a gem to ride and I’m just happy to be on his back.”
Plans with Redzel are to head back to Melbourne third-up in the Group 1 $500,000 William Reid Stakes (1200m) under the lights at The Valley on March 23.
The last William Reid Stakes winner to come off a Challenge Stakes lead-up was Spanish Mix who did the double back in 1993, while Silent Sedition off a Coolmore Classic second became the only other champion come off a Sydney lead-up since.
Following that, the grand final autumn target for Redzel is Randwick’s Group 1 $2.5 million T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) held on April 7 as a highlight on Day 1 of ‘The Championships’.
2018 Challenge Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Randwick Race 5 – 10/03/2018
|1||1||REDZEL||Peter & Paul Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||–||3||58.5kg||$1.40F|
|2||3||JUNGLE EDGE||Mick Bell||Kevin Forrester||1.8L||7||58.5kg||$81|
|3||7||SUPER TOO||Marc Conners||Blake Shinn||2.8L||5||56.5kg||$15|
|4||9||VIRIDINE||James Cummings||Brenton Avdulla||2.9L||4||56kg||$7|
|5||6||ENGLISH||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Corey Brown||3.9L||2||56.5kg||$9.50|
|6||2||TERRAVISTA||Joseph Pride||Jason Collett||5.3L||8||58.5kg||$21|
|7||4||TAKEDOWN||Gary Moore||Tim Clark||5.6L||6||58.5kg||$41|
|8||8||THE MISSION||Paul Perry||Joshua Parr||5.8L||1||56kg||$151|
|–||5||BALL OF MUSCLE||Joseph Pride||Glyn Schofield||–||0||–||–|
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