The Everest: Jamie Spencer third as Redzel rewards syndicate with £3.4 million payday

By Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
Sat 14 Oct 2017

By Geoffrey Riddle

Jamie Spencer had to settle for third aboard Brave Smash in the inaugural running of The Everest as Kerrin McEvoy and Redzel landed the the world's most valuable turf race in Australia on Saturday morning.

Spencer had made the trip to Royal Randwick in New South Wales to ride Darren Weir's Brave Smash and after biding his time early, he tried to go with the winner but just could not match his pace.

It was a fifth successive victory for Redzel, trained by Peter and Paul Snowden, and the fiv-year-old gelded son of Snitzel rewarded his hastily arranged Triple Crown syndicate with a whopping £3.4million payday.

Vega Magic then made up late ground in the dying strides to snatch second from Spencer's mount.

“He is a little star," McEvoy said.

I’m so privileged to be riding these horses for Peter and Paul Snowden. They are master horsemen and job well done to them. They’ve been so patient with this fella early in his career. It is paying dividends now.

"The Snowdens had a plan to give him a month between runs and then they had him spot on. Full credit to them.

"The horse has performed unbelievably today. It is a huge buzz."

The former Godolphin rider had Redzel sharply away at the start of the six-furlong contest.

Houtzen set the early pace with Redzel settled on his heels, but when McEvoy gave the signal with just over a furlong to run, Redzel kicked on for victory.

"This horse had drawn a good gate," McEvoy added.

"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.”

Paul Snowden was thrilled to see Redzel land his fifth win on the bounce and expects him to continue his fine form.

"It's hard to believe," he told reporters.

"He's only a five-year-old and he's pretty much at his peak, it's all before him.

"We have bubbling with excitement all week. I wouldn't be a good poker player because we have been confident all week."

Peter Snowden, another former Godolphin employee, added: "I just hope the alarm doesn't go off!

"This is unbelievable. I thought winning the Golden Slipper was big, but this beats that."

Redzel was bought for $AUS 120,000 (£71,000) at the 2014 Magic Millions Yearling Sale and the syndicate is made up of a group of 17 owners put together by Chris and Michael Ward.

Triple Crown are one of Australia's most successful syndicates and in late 2014they were was appointed as the sole and exclusive syndicator for the Snowdens.

Each of the 12 runners were entered in to the race by paying $600,000 (£356,000).

"This race was only dreamed of a matter of months ago," Michael Ward told Sky Racing.

"$5.8 million. That puts him in the top 10 money earners of all time in Australia, that is crazy.

"We’ll be back next year and we’ve got a massive night ahead of us."

Spencer was delighted with the effort of his mount, adding: "It was a huge run.

"I had a lovely run, I got the fence after 100 yards and it was very easy for me after that. The winner was very impressive."

Caulfield:

Earlier in the day Aidan O'Brien had to settle for second in his quest for another Group One victory as the fast-finishing Johannes Vermeer just failed to catch Gailo Chop in the Ladbrokes Stakes at Caulfield.

Katelyn Mallyon had O'Brien's charge towards the back of the field at the top of the straight in the 10-furlong heat, with Mark Zahra already well in control aboard Darren Weir's Gailo Chop.

With a furlong and a half to run, Gailo Chop had pulled a couple of lengths clear but Johannes Vermeer really began to motor and he was catching the ex-French-trained winner with every stride.

However, the line came just in time for Gailo Chop as Johannes Vermeer was just edged out.

O'Brien's other runner, The Taj Mahal, and the Willie Mullins-trained Riven Light were both unplaced.

Gailo Chop is now set to clash with Winx in the Cox Plate, although Weir concedes the supermare will be tough to beat.

He told http://www.racing.com: "He deserves his spot in the race now for sure. We'll head there now in fit order but with the way she (Winx) ran last week, you're probably going to be looking at second prize money.

"He deserves his spot and he's a lovely old horse."

Mallyon was thrilled with the effort of Johannes Vermeer and believes he can make his presence felt if O'Brien opts to turn him out again quickly.

She said: "He ran super. He really launched late and I think he has a really good chance next week in the Caulfield Cup."

Riven Light finished seventh and jockey Glen Boss felt the ground was too quick for his mount.

He said: "He's pretty effective on wet tracks, but probably firm tracks not so much."

Hugo Palmer takes aim at Melbourne Cup with Wall Of Fire:

Hugo Palmer has set his sights on next month's Melbourne Cup after Wall Of Fire claimed a fast-finishing second in the Herbert Power Stakes earlier on the card.

Ridden by Zahra, Wall Of Fire finished with a real flourish under top weight in the Group Two heat, but ex-British runner Lord Fandango fended him off on the line.

Palmer said: "He's 31st in order and with Charlie's (Appleby) horse (Francis Of Assisi) coming out this morning he's 30th in line for a Melbourne Cup run, so we won't run again before the Cup unless we have to.

"We were thinking of running in the Caulfield Cup but you saw how he races today and in a Caulfield Cup, he would have got an awfully long way back, so we're happy we ran and very happy with the way he ran.

"It gives us a great deal of confidence looking into the spring."

Appleby's Kidmenever finished eighth but was diagnosed as having exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH) and the thumps after the race.

Palmer was also represented in the Group One Toorak Handicap by Mask Of Time, who only made the line-up on raceday morning following a non-runner.

He turned in a fine effort though, finishing fourth as Weir completed a big-race double with Tosen Stardom.

Jane Chapple-Hyam's Kaspersky also contested the mile heat but dropped away at the finish after racing prominently.

Francis Of Assisi out of Cup:

Elsewhere down under Francis Of Assisi has been ruled out of the Caulfield Cup after suffering a small hairline fracture of his pelvis.

Charlie Appleby's charge was a dual winner in Australia last autumn, winning Group Three events at Bendigo and Flemington, and the Godolphin-owned gelding had been due to step up to Group One level at Caulfield on October 21.

However, Francis Of Assisi was found to be be lame following a routine canter at Werribee and has been ruled out of his intended run.

Appleby told http://www.godolphin.com: "He pulled out short on his left hind after exercising in the morning. Our vet had a look at him and the diagnosis revealed he has a small hairline fracture of his pelvis."

"Unfortunately it means he will miss the Caulfield Cup but he will have an MRI in the next few days which will tell us more about the extent of the injury."

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