Redzel cruises to Challenge Stakes victory

Kerrin McEvoy rides Redzel to win the Challenge Stakes
Redzel confirmed favouritism for the TJ Smith Stakes with a comfortable win in the Challenge Stakes.

Redzel has made a triumphant return to Randwick by laying down the gauntlet to his TJ Smith Stakes rivals.

Racing in Sydney for the first time since winning the $10 million Everest last October, Redzel surged past the $8 million prize money barrier with an ominous performance in the Group Two Challenge Stakes (1000m).

Three weeks after Redkirk Warrior ended the five-year-old gelding’s six-race winning streak in the Group One Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington, Kerrin McEvoy ushered Redzel back to the winners’ stall.

The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained $1.40 favourite allowed Super Too to set what seemed a challenging tempo before taking the lead and cruising clear to score by 1-3/4 lengths in a course record time of 55.73 seconds.

Jungle Edge ($81) finished impressively to take second a length clear of Super Too ($15).

Peter Snowden said Redzel would not race again until the Group One $2.5 million weight-for-age T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 7.

William Hill

The father-and-son training partnership had considered running Redzel in the Group One William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on March 23, but will give him a tune-up trial instead.

“I was thinking about the William Reid but the T J is the one we really want to win,” Snowden said.

“He’s such as easy horse to prepare, we know what to do with him. A barrier trial in between should have him at the mark.”

Snowden was wasn’t surprised how the race panned out as Super Too built an early advantage.

“I knew they’d want to test him right out. I’ve heard it said a few times that he gets too easy a time in front,” he said.

“They’ve gone out really hard to try and get him out of his comfort zone but Kerrin rode him absolutely perfect and he was really good late.”