Yulong sign defending champion Redzel to Everest slot
Redzel will defend his Everest title in October after Yulong Investments won the race to sign the outstanding sprinter for its slot for the $13 million race.
Yulong’s boss, Chinese billionaire Yuesheng Zhang, played a key role in the decision and believes he has signed the best sprinter in the country.
“Mr Zhang watches a lot of Australian racing and Redzel was the horse he pinpointed as the one we were to target,” Yulong chief operating officer Sam Fairgray said. “We talked to [the connections for] a couple of other horses but Redzel was the only one we went hard after and we got the deal done.”
Redzel became the third horse to be signed to a slot and joins In Her Time and TJ Smith winner Trapeze Artist as secure in the 12-horse field. It means the trifecta from the TJ Smith during The Championships will line up in the Everest at Randwick on October 13.
The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained sprinter has built a tremendous record finishing in the first two in 17 of his past 19 runs including winning the Doomben 10,000, Everest and Darley Classic in the past 12 months and being runner-up in the Lightning Stakes and TJ Smith.
There was surprise at Yulong that Redzel was still available and executives worked quickly to do a deal with Triple Crown Syndications.
“He was the obvious horse as last year's winner," Fairgray said. "He has continued in good form and has shown himself to be the best sprinter in the country.
"He can go on any conditions, which was important.
“The Snowdens are masters of peaking a horse for a target race and are the only trainers to win an Everest. We are very happy to be part of the team.
"He was only horse that we wanted for our slot.”
Redzel raced in the James Harron slot last year and had proved popular with slot holders, with several putting deals forward before Triple Crown recommended Yulong to Redzel’s owners.
“It is just good to have it locked away five months out from the race and is a bit of pressure off us,” Triple Crown’s Michael Ward said. “We knew he would get a slot, it is was just a matter of getting a deal done.
“Now we can plan the best way to get to the Everest and hopefully go back to back with a bit of luck.”
Redzel is favourite for Saturday’s Doomben 10,000 after which he will be spelled ahead of his Everest preparation, which will start in September.