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After drifting late in betting, six-year old gelding Redzel has claimed back-to-back victories in the 1000m Concorde Stakes at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Opening as one of the leading candidates for The Everest, Redzel and fellow favourite Invincible Star went tooth and nail from barrier to box, while jockey Kerrin McEvoy stayed patient in the saddle.
Invincible Star led from the gates, but maintained only a narrow lead on the final turn. McEvoy held off until the 200m mark, before letting go to race away and win in convincing fashion.
Redzel drifted from $2.00 out to $2.25 with Ladbrokes as punters jumped on Invincible Star late. Saturday’s victory now sees Peter and Paul Snowden’s prized gelding firm from $5.50 into the $5.00 favourite at Ladbrokes for the $13 million The Everest on October 13.
When asked about the ride, Paul Snowden said he always felt confident with McEvoy on board.
“I thought Kerrin executed that quite well, lovely patient ride using the horses ability”.
Just like last year, Redzel looks on schedule. With the Concorde now ticked off, September 15’s The Shorts (1600m) looks the likely target race in the coming fortnight, with a rest in between ahead of The Everest.
Now having won over $9 million in prize-money, much of which came from last year’s victory in The Everest, it’s not the least bit surprising to see Redzel enter as the early favourite ahead of Australia’s richest turf race.
McEvoy’s patience continues to produce top quality races, while his confidence in Redzel brings results.
“He traveled really well today” McEvoy told Sky Racing.
“Top in the rise, JMac (James McDonald) should’ve pressed a button on his mare (Invincible Star) and I was still cruising, biding my time” McEvoy said.
“He always had the race in grasp, and as you can see he’s still strong on the bridle”
Invincible Star’s fade away in the final 50m cost him second to John O’Shea’s seven-year old gelding, Kaepernick.
As for Redzel, everything is going according to plan.
“Pete and Paul know him back to front, two weeks time we go again and then a nice little rest into The Everest” McEvoy went on to say.
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