Star sprinter Redzel has shown he is back in race mode with his win in a barrier trial at Rosehill in which champion Winx had a solid hit-out to finish midfield.
The 1000m-trial win was in contrast to Redzel’s effort two weeks ago when he was given a soft tune-up to finish seventh of nine behind Trapeze Artist, Saturday’s Expressway Stakes winner.
With his race day blinkers and race day jockey Kerrin McEvoy aboard, Redzel assumed the lead early and won the trial by three lengths from Group One-winning filly Alizee ahead of his attempt to add the Group 1 Lightning Stakes to his record.
A dual Group One winner of the Doomben 10,000 and Darley Classic at Flemington last year, Redzel also won the $10 million Everest at Randwick in the spring.
“It’s what we wanted to see,” co-trainer Peter Snowden said.
“His first trial two weeks ago was a soft trial and he needed a pipe-opener this morning.
“The race is 12 days away and as we know for Group Ones you need to be really prepared.
“It’s 1000 metres down the straight at Flemington and you need to have them really wound up and that gallop was just perfect.”
Snowden, who trains with his son Paul, said the 2018 version of Redzel could be even better than last year.
“To my eye he’s just a touch better,” he said.
“Maybe that’s wishful thinking but what I saw this morning I think he’s better.
“He’s always been push button for the last 12 months.
“Before the trial he was like a pony, he was so relaxed.
“He saves everything for the races.”
The Black Caviar Lightning pays tribute to the unbeaten champion who won the race three times in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
Last year’s winner Terravista, second to Redzel in the Darley Classic, will be an opponent again.