Redzel has re-affirmed his standing as the pin-up sprinter of Australian racing with victory in the $1 million Darley Classic at Flemington.
The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained gelding beat Australia’s sharpest horses in The Everest last month and backed it up on another big stage on Saturday.
Redzel led on the grandstand side for jockey Kerrin McEvoy as the field split into two divisions in the Group One 1200m straight race and the $4 favourite proved too strong for his rivals, winning by three-quarters of a length.
Eight-year-old Terravista ($31), who Redzel narrowly beat in a Listed sprint at Flemington during last year’s Melbourne Cup carnival, charged home with blinkers on for the first time to finish second.
It’s the third time the Joe Pride-trained Terravista has figured in the Darley Classic placings after winning in 2014 and finishing a close third in 2015.
Stradbroke Handicap winner Impending ($9.50) was another three quarters of a length away third.
Peter Snowden didn’t need any more convincing Redzel was the current premier sprinter in the country, but he got it.
“I thought he did that in the Everest and the hype around was that he needed to prove himself again, and that’s what this horse keeps doing,” Snowden said.
“He keeps stepping up and keeps proving all the doubters wrong.
“He keeps getting it done by a professional performance. He jumped, led, showed sustained speed and just finished it right off.
“It was a dominant win again.”
Redzel has won his past six races stretching back to the Sydney autumn and hasn’t finished worse than second in his past nine starts going back to his Flemington win a year ago.
“His record speaks for itself,” Snowden said.
“He’s such an honest horse that just gives everything every time he goes out.”
Snowden believes Redzel only has to hold his current level to continue being a force.
“There’s some good sprinters around at the moment but he’s dominant,” he said.
McEvoy said he was rapt to be part of Redzel’s career and was moved to rate him the best older sprinter he has ridden.
“He’s no pushover. He’s a quality sprinter,” McEvoy said.
“I’ve ridden some good three-year-old sprinters but he would be the best older sprinter I’ve ridden.”