Redzel ready for TJ Smith Stakes showdown

Seven-year-old Redzel will be out to upstage his younger rivals in the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick.

He has won two Everests, two Group One races and more than $16 million.

On Saturday veteran sprinter Redzel will try to repel a number of younger star sprinters when he chases another memorable Randwick victory in the Group One TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) at the venue of his two Everest triumphs.

Along with defending champion Santa Ana Lane and quality mare In Her Time, Redzel is one of three seven-year-olds in the field of 13.

Among their rivals will be brilliant but enigmatic five-year-old Nature Strip and four three-year-olds including Newmarket Handicap-winning colt Bivouac and dual Group One-winning filly Loving Gaby.

Redzel’s most recent Group One success was during the 2017 spring in the Darley Classic at Flemington.

That came after the first of his two wins in The Everest which does not have black-type status.

Redzel’s 2019 spring campaign netted a Group Two win in the Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Randwick while his current preparation has yielded runner-up finishes in the Group One Lightning Stakes (1000m) in Melbourne and Challenge Stakes (1000m) at Randwick.

Co-trainer Peter Snowden knows Redzel faces a challenge in the $1.25 million weight-for-age TJ Smith.

He finished second in 2018 and was unplaced last year, but Snowden is far from discounting his stable stalwart.

“He is going well,” Snowden, who trains in partnership with his son Paul, said.

“He’s meeting a star-studded field. They’re all youngsters but his two runs this time in have both been solid.

“He’s done well since his last start and he trialled well last Friday.

“He’s in good order and he looks well.

“I know it’s an ask for him but he doesn’t know that.

“He’s still wanting to race and he’s racing well so we’ll go with him.

“A soft track won’t worry him at all. There’s a little bit of speed that will go with him but he’ll get his chance.”

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