Last year’s seven-length champion Zaaki returns...
Inaugural champion Redzel has officially secured his position in the 2018 The Everest field this spring with the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained sprint start to represent Yulong Investments.
Last Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival the gun son of Snitzel took out the first ever running of the Restricted The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick and he will be back in 2018 attempting back-to-back wins in the world’s richest race on turf.
This year’s The Everest race has been boosted to $13 million in total career prize money and takes place on Saturday October 13.
Five-year-old Redzel is the third horse confirmed in the capacity 12-starter The Everest field joining Benjamin Smith’s class mare In Her Time and Gerald Ryan’s outstanding three-year-old Trapeze Artist.
Also a son of Snitzel, Trapeze Artist is tipped as the horse to beat in futures The Everest betting at Ladbrokes.com.au paying $4.50 in the latest markets ahead of Redzel ($6).
The two faced off on April 7 at the track and distance during ‘The Championships’ with the youngster getting the upper hand in an impressive two length win in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m).
Trapeze Artist then franked the form beating the older horses home again on April 21 in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m).
The Triple Crown Syndications-raced Redzel meanwhile has been kept fresh for his trip to Brisbane this weekend where he defends his title in the Group 1 $700,000 Doomben 10,000 (1200m).
That will serve as a grand final run this campaign ahead of a spring return where The Everest is the major prize, Redzel having won for slot holder James Harron last year.
“It is just good to have it locked away five months out from the race and is a bit of pressure off us,” Triple Crown’s Michael Ward told the Sydney Morning Herald this week.
“We knew he would get a slot, it is was just a matter of getting a deal done.
“Now we can plan the best way to get to the Everest and hopefully go back to back with a bit of luck.”
Yulong Investment’s head honcho, self-made Chinese billionaire Yuesheng Zhang, was represented in last year’s The Everest by She Will Reign who ran a disappointing second last (11th).
He is far more confident heading into the 2018 edition of the weight-for-age Racing NSW drawcard believing Redzel is the horse to beat according to the company’s chief operation officer Sam Fairgray.
“Mr Zhang watches a lot of Australian racing and Redzel was the horse he pinpointed as the one we were to target,” Fairgray said.
“We talked to [the connections of] a couple of other horses but Redzel was the only one we went hard after and we got the deal done.
“He was the obvious horse as last year’s winner.
“He has continued in good form and has shown himself to be the best sprinter in the country.
“He can go on any conditions, which was important.
“The Snowdens are masters of peaking a horse for a target race and are the only trainers to win an Everest. We are very happy to be part of the team.
“He was only horse that we wanted for our slot.”
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