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Don't dare dismiss Redzel in the TJ Smith

Apr 05, 2019

Doncaster day, the first day of The Championships - it’s one of the great meetings on the Australian racing calendar and we’ve got runners in most of the big races, but the track conditions are going to play a crucial role in our chances.

We’ll be looking to the skies and crossing our fingers for Land Of Plenty in the Donny and also our three acceptors in the Sires’, while there’s no such concerns with Redzel in the TJ Smith.

Redzel will be out to get a little gloss back after what was, on face value, an ordinary performance in The Galaxy last start.

He certainly lost a little gloss when finishing well back behind Nature Strip, but I’d caution anyone about giving up on the horse as he’s ready for battle and we are very much looking forward to tomorrow’s race.

You’ve got to forget he even went around at Rosehill as the circumstances were totally against him, being knocked out of the race at a vital stage and being forced onto the back foot with a big weight.

He’s back to weight-for-age this time and that’s where he performs best, plus he also gets to Randwick where he has a great affinity with the track winning eight from 14 starts including the two editions of The Everest, both on wet tracks.

Of his six failures at Randwick he has been placed four times with his three seconds including last years TJ Smith behind Trapeze Artist.

I see Redzel is currently quoted around $9 and you can’t help but think how quickly people forget.

Only twice in his 31 starts has the horse started around the $9 mark and on another occasion he started double figures. In one of those three races he won a Doomben 10,000 and he was beaten in a photo finish by Russian Revolution in The Galaxy.

He failed at double figures in the Moir Stakes but that was nearly 2-1/2 years back, when he hadn’t really got into his groove at the top level.

Certainly it’s not an easy race, up against proven Group I performers Trapeze Artist, Santa Ana Lane, Shoals, Vega Magic and Sunlight while Pierata and Osborne Bulls both have tremendous form recommendations but Redzel has been there and done that, and the conditions of the race are much more favourable than they were last start.

In my column going into The Galaxy I said Redzel would be spot on for the TJ and that’s exactly what you’ll see tomorrow, so I’d suggest dismiss him at your peril – he’s ready.

With Land Of Plenty in the Doncaster we are watching the heavens as he needs it slow at worst if he’s going to get his chance.

The horse is going well and is extremely fit, primed to go, and with 55kg he won’t know himself but the down side would be a heavy track as he has won a couple of races on slow going but has failed badly on heavy tracks.

His past four runs have been at weight-for-age but the last two times he raced in handicaps he won the Toorak Handicap and was fourth in the Kennedy Mile, both at 1600m.

If we did happen to get a reasonable surface Land Of Plenty has a big chance, he’s a good horse.

In the Sires’ Produce we have Strasbourg, Rome and Bullet Fly but the weather will determine whether Rome backs up from last week or we save him for a maiden at Hawkesbury next Tuesday. If it’s heavy we’ll save him.

Strasbourg got bogged down in the heavy last week behind Bellevue Hill at Rosehill but I thought his run was still good enough finishing second and he deserves his chance.

Bullet Fly was good winning a maiden at Newcastle last time and he has missed all the wet tracks so he still has spring in his step and has had the benefit of two runs at 1400m going into the race.

At Newcastle he was ridden conservatively and was strong through the line, he’s a genuine colt still with plenty of upside to him and if was to run well there would be every chance we’d go again in the Champagne Stakes.

In the other races we have Stronger in the opener and he was good in the Pago Pago behind Cosmic Force on a heavy track, despite being beaten a long way and he does relish soft tracks.

Our other runners are all in the last race with Eawase, Fiera Vista and She’s Furline.

Both Eawase and Fiera Vista come out of the same Randwick trial and they both went well enough to suggest they are in for good preparations.

Fiera Vista is having her first start for the stable and she showed plenty of speed in the trial to lead them up and was given an easy time over the last bit.

She has drawn wide but hopefully, being late in the day that may not be a disadvantage although we don’t know about her on a genuinely wet track as she has only raced once on a slow when placed at Cranbourne.

Eawase promised a good bit early on, winning her only two starts in her second preparation but she mixed her form a bit last time in.

She’s had the one run on soft ground and wasn’t that far away but I’ve got to say I don’t think it’s her preferred going which is the same for She’s Furline who finished well back on a heavy track at Warwick Farm last start.

At Caulfield we’ve got two runners – Snippets Land and Emperor’s Way in the last two races.

We shipped them down to Melbourne to get away from the wet tracks in Sydney and they both have good chances.

Snippets Land is in a tough race but he’s in form and drawn a good barrier while Emperor’s Way has raced well at Caulfield previously and while he hasn’t won this preparation, his form has been most consistent and with even luck in running he’ll be hard to beat.

All in all we have chances throughout the day but it’s a tough program at Randwick and also at Caulfield but looking for our best I’d have to say give the stable star Redzel another chance – he certainly deserves it.

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