Do We Not Bleed Red?

Redzel bounced back to form winning the Group Three Concorde Stakes for the third consecutive year (Lisa Grimm)

 

Just consider this for a minute.

If – and yes, it is a big if – but if Redzel were to win the 2019 $14 million The Everest at Royal Randwick on 19 October, he would take his earnings to around $22 million.

22 million … dollars!

This was a horse who was initially purchased for $45,000 at the 2013 Inglis Sydney Weanling Sale, only to be re-offered a couple of months later at the Magic Millions National Weanling Sale where he was passed in for $55,000 – off a reserve of $60,000.

Six months on, Redzel would be – somewhat wisely – snapped up by Triple Crown Syndications for $120,000 at the Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale.

Redzel won his first race – at Warwick Farm – as a 2YO; his first stakes race, the Listed Fireball, at three; his first Group race – the Heath – when resuming at four and; in May 2017, his first Group One … the Doomben 10,000.

Indeed, from April to November of that year, Redzel would capture six straight, culminating in the inaugural $10 million The Everest and the Group One Darley Classic.

In 2018, Redzel would win the Everest again, only this time the ante had been upped to $13 million. Again he would be sent out an $8.50 pick and again he would lead throughout.

However, despite a couple of near misses – a lip second in March’s Group Two Challenge and a second in the Group Victory the following month, both times as odds on favourite – Redzel hadn’t won since ploughing through the heavy 9 in last year’s Everest.

That changed on Saturday however, when Redzel won his ninth race at Royal Randwick and his third Group Three Concorde Stakes in succession against a red-hot field of Everest contenders.

As is their wont, the large band of Redzel connections celebrated wildly – some hamming it up for the cameras – but mostly it was sheer relief at their pride and joy returning to his rightful spot in the winners’ enclosure.

Part-owners, Amanda and Don Gibson, watched the race from the grandstand, along with a sizeable support group of family members, and Amanda confesses to a few nervous moments as Pierata loomed dangerously in the final stages.

“Yes, I went the early crow after Redzel appeared to be travelling so comfortably out in front, but then I saw Pierata and got a bit worried,” Gibson reveals. “Still, it was a fantastic win and most of us had been really confident he’d come back to his top after a couple of niggling issues, but you can never be sure until it happens on the day.

“Still, we’re leaving nothing to chance … a lot of us have decided that a few days before the Everest we’re going to do a rain dance.”

Gibson is the first to admit that her foray into racehorse ownership has been “very successful and enjoyable” but it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.

“We didn’t have a great deal of luck early on and were thinking about giving it all away. Then Redzel came along,” Gibson points out.

Indeed, it wasn’t long after Redzel finished a close second to Russian Revolution in the Group One The Galaxy that Triple Crown approached the Gibsons about going into an Epaulette colt.

The Epaulette would be called, Military Zone, who was last sighted winning the Group Three Fred Best at Eagle Farm in May and has currently won five from 10 starts including the Listed Gosford Guineas.

“Military Zone is due to resume in the (Listed) Testa Rossa Stakes at Caulfield on 29 September then, fingers crossed, on to the ($500,000) Silver Eagle the week before the Everest and maybe, just maybe, the (inaugural $7.5 million) Golden Eagle on 2 November,” Gibson explains. “It’s very exciting to have two such good horses heading into the spring.

“It’s too early to say about Redzel in the Everest, but he’ll sure keep them honest.”

Gibson is clearly a convert and one of the best advertisments for racehorse ownership, but is adamant that it’s all about the experience, not the money.

“Of course, if Redzel wins his third Everest and Military Zone the Golden Eagle, I’m pretty sure Don and I will be buying into another horse, but it’s just great to share it with family,” Gibson adds. “We have this favourite Chinese restaurant that we all go to after the races and on Saturday, we got a terrific photo of our 14 month old grandson with the trophy. They’re the memories you’ll never forget.”

Chris Ward, who established Triple Crown with brother, Michael, is well used to podium finishes, but was naturally elated with Redzel’s return.

“It’s been another big year for Triple Crown with Military Zone, Brave Song and Missile Mantra all winning black type races for us in 2019 and that (Redzel) was a very satisfying result on Saturday,” Ward enthused. “It takes a special horse to win a race like the Concorde three years in a row and I reckon this Concorde was the strongest he’s competed in yet. It was only a field of six but Sunlight, Nature Strip and Pierata had all won Group Ones last season, Graff is a Group winner and Zoustyle had won six from six before Saturday.

“No firm decision has been made about Redzel’s next start but it will either be the (Group Two) The Shorts which he won leading into his first Everest, or the (Group Two) Premiere which he finished fifth in last year.

“As you can imagine, we’re really looking forward to the next couple of months: Triple Crown purchased 18 yearlings at sales this year and there’s a Scissor Kick filly that’s quite precocious and is gearing up for her first start. Exciting times!”