Snowden says The Everest will become a 'worldwide' race
PETER Snowden admits he was an Everest doubter at the beginning but the Sydney trainer is adamant the $10 million feature is well on track to become a "worldwide race" in years to come.
Snowden felt The Everest - to be run on Saturday week - "was a bit over the top" when he first heard about the concept but he has changed his mind since.
"I think it's a great (concept) and the more it has gone on I think it has picked up a lot more momentum and even the (television) commercial," he said.
"I saw it yesterday and I thought it was terrific.
"It's going the right way, so I think in years to come it will be a worldwide race that a lot of people target."
Naturally, The Everest has its knockers with some people arguing the $10 million feature would have attracted the same field for $500,000. But the point lost here is the fact the race doesn't cost the industry anywhere near $10 million.
The 12 spots in the race, sold at $600,000 each, make up $7.2 million of that figure, while Racing NSW hopes the $2.8 million difference will come from extra wagering on the event, sponsorship and other measures.
The Everest has given NSW racing a major boost by dominating racing headlines in the past few months.
"I think if it was a half-million dollar race we wouldn't have had the talk we've had," Snowden said. "I think every horse in the race deserves to be there and they are all quality sprinters in their own right.
"They have all won feature races and there is not a weak link in it, I don't think. I suppose having a horse in the race helps you warm to (the concept) a bit more, but it's a good concept going the right way."
Team Snowden will saddle-up Redzel in The Everest.
The $7 fourth favourite had a hitout in a 1000m trial at Rosehill Gardens on Tuesday, winning the trial in strong fashion and Snowden is happy with his progress.
"He trialled nicely and it was just a blow-out," he said.
"He has won his last couple of starts in good fashion and I'm happy with him. He is going good, the horse. He is just as effective wet or dry and he ticks plenty of boxes."
Snowden conceded The Everest wasn't on the radar for Redzel when the race was first announced but the sprinter has just kept improving.
"When they first mentioned it I never thought he would be one but certainly as time wore on after (the winter in) Brisbane it was always in our mind to see how he came back (in the spring)," he said. "He definitely deserves his spot."