RACING: Redzel, orphaned as a foal, raced by a group of everyday Australians, and once maligned as a speedy squib, is emerging as the horse to beat in the world's richest race on turf, the $10 million The TAB Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick tomorrow.
The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained Redzel goes into The Everest on a four-race winning streak, including his track record-breaking effort in The Shorts last start.
This form surge has resulted in Redzel discarding the "most improved sprinter in training" label to be recognised now as one of the nation's elite gallopers.
Chris Ward of Triple Crown Syndications said their sprinter has had an ideal preparation for The Everest and is taking his group of owners on the "ride of a lifetime".
Even the barrier draw was kind to Redzel who will start out of gate three in The Everest.
"Redzel will go forward and it is up to Kerrin (McEvoy) to decide if he wants to lead or take a sit," Ward said.
"Most expect us to sit outside Houtzen but he will be up on the speed somewhere.
"He is very tough and in the best form of his life.
"It is exciting to have a chance in such a big race as this. I've never seen anything like the build-up to The Everest."
Redzel, a son of super sire Snitzel, was orphaned as a foal when his dam, Millrich, died just three weeks after giving birth.
A foster mare was found for the colt who then developed into a strong, handsome, yearling when knocked down to Chris and Michael Ward's Triple Crown Syndications for $120,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions Yearling Sales.
The Ward brothers then syndicated Redzel to a group of 17 owners from all walks of life, including police officers, school teachers, a doctor, taxi driver and concreter.
Part-owner Peter Piras has battled serious health issues in recent years but said being involved with a sprinter like Redzel "keeps me going".
"Words can't describe how much this horse means to me. I've suffered through leukaemia and endured bone marrow transplants, and truthfully, I'm lucky to be here today," he said.
"The emotion that I feel when he wins is difficult to express. He gives me so much joy and to be involved in a race like The Everest will be unbelievable."