By Julieanne Horsman
As racegoers gathered around the Theatre Of The Horse eagerly waiting for The TAB Everest contenders to step out, many were surprised when the first horse to emerge from the tunnel wasn’t the number 1 saddlecloth carrier, Nature Strip. They curiously admired the strong, shiny bay draped in a flashy silk rug until Greg Radley’s voice boomed across the racecourse “welcome back, Redzel!” Spectators erupted into a cheer for the dual TAB Everest winner, as he made his first return to Royal Randwick since retiring from racing. The eight-year-old Snitzel gelding appeared to be relishing his new role as an ambassador for Racing NSW’s equine welfare and rehoming division, Team Thoroughbred NSW.
Trainers Peter and Paul Snowden, in consultation with owners Triple Crown Syndications, called time on Redzel’s racing career in April after a brilliant performance for 3rd in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes. He had amassed prizemoney in excess of $16million, making him second-highest earner in Australian racing history behind Winx. Redzel bowed out on a high note with a record of 15 wins, including both the inaugural TAB Everest in 2017 and the second edition of the race in 2018. He also ran a creditable 8th in the 2019 TAB Everest.
Redzel retired to Bart’s Farm (formerly Princes Farm) at Castlereagh which was purchased by Racing NSW in 2018 for the purpose of equine welfare activities. The stunning 137-acre property, designed by legendary trainer Bart Cummings, is one of three owned by Racing NSW where retired racehorses including Thoroughbreds who didn’t make the track can go to be cared for and retrained for other equestrian disciplines.
“Our owners are delighted to have sent Redzel into the professional care of Racing NSW’s Team Thoroughbred,” Triple Crown Syndications Director Michael Ward said. “This way the public will be able to continue to interact into the future with a horse that has brought so much joy to so many racing fans. It is only fitting that our champions on the racetrack are celebrated in retirement and we are sure that Redzel will continue to be a great ambassador for racing in this state during his time there.”
Redzel has settled in well to his new home in a paddock with three-time Group 1 winner Happy Clapper. Over the next few months, Redzel will learn the skills needed for life after racing and fans can look forward to seeing him at out and about at major events.