Inaugurated as the world’s richest turf race, Saturday’s A$10 million The Everest lured an all-star field of Australian sprinters, and the red-hot Redzel came out on top after a perfect pace-prompting trip.
The Everest was modeled upon Gulfstream Park’s Pegasus World Cup (G1), whereby parties buy slots in the gate. Stakeholders can then run their own horses or partner with other owners needing a spot for their contenders at Randwick.
Redzel’s ownership group, led by Triple Crown Syndications, struck a deal for the Snitzel gelding to use James Harron Bloodstock’s slot in the Everest starting gate. Redzel was riding a four-race win streak going into the 1200-meter dash – including the May 13 Doomben 10,000 (G1) last preparation and The Shorts (G2) in track-record time last out September 16 – and made it five here for an A$5.8 million windfall. According to Triple Crown Syndications, his “everyday Australian” owners include police officers, a teacher, cab driver, and security guard.
Trained by Peter and Paul Snowden, the 15-2 chance was parked right off the flank of front-running Houtzen in the opening stages. Vega Magic, the 19-5 favorite expected to show speed, was held up well off the pace after drawing post 10 of 12, while Chautauqua was reserved in his usual spot at the back.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy produced Redzel at the right time to deal the decisive blow in the stretch. Vega Magic, who rallied furiously out wide, came up three-quarters of a length short. Brave Smash was another head away in third, and Chautauqua was spearing through belatedly for fourth on the inside. The 50-1 outsider Tulip checked in fifth, ahead of English, Houtzen, Clearly Innocent, Deploy, Redkirk Warrior, She Will Reign, and 80-1 longshot Fell Swoop.
“What a race to win! It is so exciting,” McEvoy told racing.com. “It’s such a thrill to be part of it. Such a huge buzz.
“My wife is here and hopefully my kids are yelling at the TV screen at home.
“It is a huge buzz. This horse had drawn a good gate (post 4). There were so many scenarios going through our heads in regards to how it was going to work out.
“It couldn’t have worked out any better in the run – we had a dream run outside of the leader. I am over the moon.”
Craig Williams, who rode Vega Magic, was left wondering if the result could have been different with a better post position.
“He was awesome in defeat – he’s defied the track pattern,” Williams said of the speed-conducive circuit. “Just ruing that we didn’t draw a barrier but awesome performance by the horse.”
The riders of Chautauqua and English also cited how Randwick was playing.
“He’s run terrific,” Brenton Avdulla said of Chautauqua. “He’s basically found three tracks where it has been very difficult to get out and get wide but he ran terrific.”
“She hit the line well,” Blake Shinn said of English. “It’s a shame that the track is playing the way it is but I thought she acquitted herself great.”
Redzel finished in 1:08.36 on the good course, upping his line to 20-10-4-1, $7,165,250. His placings include narrow runner-up efforts in last March’s Galaxy (G1) and Challenge (G2).