In a triumph for the little guy in racing, a horse owned by a group of everyday people has won the world’s richest thoroughbred race on turf at Randwick.
Redzel claimed the inaugural $10 million Everest (1200m) on Saturday for Triple Crown Syndications, which paid $120,000 for him as a yearling.
Trained by another success story in Sydney racing, the father-and-son partnership of Peter and Paul Snowden, and ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, Redzel ($8.50) shared the lead with Houtzen before stamping his authority inside the 300m.
Vega Magic was sent out the $4.80 favourite and chased Redzel hard after getting back early but came up three-quarters of a length short.
Former Japanese horse Brave Smash ($19) held third a short neck away and Chautauqua ($6) finished fourth.
“What a race to win,” McEvoy said.
“It is so exciting. It’s such a thrill to be part of it. Such a huge buzz.
“(Redzel) is a little star. I’m so privileged to be riding these horses for Peter and Paul Snowden. They are master horsemen.”
Redzel’s 17 owners include teachers, police officers, a taxi driver, electrician and concreter.
The race was funded by a hefty subscription beyond the means of the winner’s owners but with James Harron Bloodstock selecting him as their representative, the dream came alive.
“It is a dream come true,” Triple Crown’s Michael Ward said.
“There are about 30 people in the horse all up. It is hard to put into words.”
Paul Snowden did have the words.
“I could stand here all week and say black and blue how well he was going,” he said.
“This is the third time we’ve given him a month between runs.
“Everyone wrote him off at his first two runs back and thought with a month between runs he was a risk but it was definitely not the case.
“It’s a massive thing for the stable. We’ve got a very special bond, me and dad. I don’t think anyone has what we’ve got.”
There were a couple of disappointing runs but no apparent hard-luck stories.
Second favourite She Will Reign ($5.50) did not show the dash that won her the recent Group One Moir Stakes and weakened to beat just Fell Swoop home.
“I was obviously a little disappointed,” jockey Corey Brown said.
“She had a beautiful run in transit and followed the winner.
“She just didn’t give me the turn of foot she usually shows.
“Maybe the Moir run took the edge right off her.”
Craig Williams said Vega Magic was brave in defeat and would have finished closer had he drawn a barrier better than 10 of 12.
Visiting English jockey Jamie Spencer said Brave Smash had tried hard.
“He had a lovely run and got to the fence,” he said.
“The winner was very impressive.”