McEvoy confident Redzel is ripe for Everest hat-trick bid.
Byline: Jack Haynes in Melbourne
KERRIN McEVOY is confident star sprinter Redzel is in cherry-ripe condition for his hat-trick bid in the third running of the A$14m (PS7.39m/€8.55m) The Everest at Randwick on Saturday.
The remarkably consistent and talented seven-year-old has won 15 of his 35 starts, finishing in the placings on another ten occasions, and is a best-price 10-1 with Paddy Power to continue his Everest dominance.
Trained by brothers Peter and Paul Snowden, Redzel returned from a winter break to win the Group 3 Concorde Stakes at Randwick last month before finishing a close third behind the reopposing Pierata in a Group 2 event at the same track.
McEvoy believes those two outings, combined with trial outings at Gosford and Rosehill, will have put Redzel, drawn in stall seven, spot on for his main target.
The Melbourne Cup-winning jockey, said: "It's a tough race with a great line-up of sprinters, including Ten Sovereigns added in there, so Redzel is going to need to bring his A game.
"I'm happy with his draw and he's in the best health possible. He looks great and been nice and sharp in his work.
"He goes there fit and fresh and Peter and Paul are great at mapping out a preparation tailored to suit the horse. They know him well and I'm confident he'll be in cherry-ripe condition."
Dubawi, Helmet and The Autumn Sun are among the top-level stars that McEvoy has ridden and he places Redzel among his all-time favourites.
McEvoy said: "He's one of my favourites as he's done it at a high level for many seasons. He won dual Everests and a couple of other Group 1s along the way. He's a great horse to be around and one of the best sprinters I've ridden."
On what sets him apart, McEvoy added: "His tenacity and speed at both ends. He's an athlete and has a great temperament to go with it."
There will be British and Irish interest in the showcase 12-runner Sydney race courtesy of the Aidan O'Brien-trained July Cup winner Ten Sovereigns - a best price 16-1 with Sky Bet and Betway - while McEvoy believes 9-2 favourite Santa Ana Lane and 12-1 shot Alizee are other main dangers.
McEvoy said: "You can make a case for a lot of the field. I was fortunate enough to sit on Alizee in a gallop last week and James [Cummings] has tailored her campaign with this race in mind. She can put up a bold showing and is a little forgotten in the market.
"You have to give a lot of credit to Santa Ana Lane too - he's the highest rated sprinter in the race."