Redzel tunes up for Everest hat-trick bid
REDZEL continued his charge towards an extraordinary Everest hat-trick with a crucial barrier trial on Monday morning as the race for the final slots in the $14 million dash for cash go down to the wire.
Trainers Peter and Paul Snowden used the sedate surrounds of Gosford racetrack on Monday to fine tune Redzel's preparation for The Everest (1200m) at Royal Randwick on October 19.
His opponents in the 1000m trial included another confirmed Everest contender, the Kris Lees-trained In Her Time.
Although Redzel and In Her Time weren't asked to break any course records, it could be a different story at Caulfield on Saturday with 17 sprinters nominated for the Group 2 $400,000 Schillaci Stakes (1100m).
The winner of the sprint will be granted Melbourne Racing Club's slot for The Everest.
Everest hopefuls include Trekking and The Bostonian.
But Nature Strip is said to be a doubtful Schillaci Stakes starter amid speculation he has already been chosen to take a position in The Everest.
The Hawkes camp remains guarded on whether their runner, Premiere Stakes winner Brutal, would seek a start in the country's richest race.
"We are looking at all our options with Brutal but first we want to see how the horse does during the week,'' Hall of Fame trainer John Hawkes said.
Hawkes said the horse had come through Saturday's win in good order.
Slot holder James Harron has confirmed he is in negotiations with Brutal's owners about taking his vacancy.
Harron said he had narrowed his choice down to "two or three sprinters".
"My plan is to also talk with the boys at Godolphin in the next day or so to see what they are thinking about Alizee and Bivouac,'' Harron said.
Stream over 50 sports live & anytime on your TV or favourite device with KAYO SPORTS. The biggest Aussie sports and the best from overseas. Just $25/month. No lock-in contract. Get your 14 day free trial
Coolmore's Tom Magnier will talk with trainer Chris Waller on Tuesday to finalise race plans for Yes Yes Yes but the owner was more definitive on Irish raider Ten Sovereigns.
"The 'lads' are really happy with Ten Sovereigns, he's settled in really well at Canterbury and will probably have a good gallop later this week,'' Magnier said.
"If we get a dry track for The Everest, Ten Sovereigns will run and Ryan Moore will ride him.''
Trainer Greg Hickman put the blinkers on $5 favourite Pierata and got race jockey Tommy Berry to put the sprinter through his paces at Warwick Farm yesterday.
"Tommy said 'I don't think you can get him any fitter'. His work was super. He pulled up 'good'," Hickman said.
With 11 days to the world's richest turf race, slot-holder the Melbourne Racing Club has given the Schillaci Stakes "win and you're in'' status for The Everest, which has four of the 12 starting positions still up for grabs. In other news for the big race:
● James Harron has confirmed he is in negotiations with the Godolphin stable and also the owners of Premiere Stakes winner Brutal to potentially fill his Everest slot.
● English jockey Ryan Moore will ride the Aidan O'Brien-trained Ten Sovereigns in The Everest.
● Coolmore's crack three-year-old colt Yes Yes Yes remains in the Everest mix and has been nominated for the Group 2 $300,000 Roman Consul Stakes at Randwick on Saturday.