Redelva joins elite list

UP THERE WITH THE VERY BEST: Millicent owned and trained gelding Redelva, seen returning to scale after one of his three wins in the Spring Stakes at Morphettville with Neville Wilson in the saddle, was inducted into the SA Racing Hall of Fame in Adelaide on Saturday night.

THE deeds of former top galloper Redelva were recognised at a gala function at Morphettville on Saturday night.

Regarded as the best galloper to ever come out of the South East, Redelva was inducted into the SA Hall of Fame at the annual industry awards and Hall of Fame dinner for South Australian racing.

Redelva is the first inductee into the SA Hall of Fame from the South East and his Millicent trainer Greg Varcoe was an invited guest of Thoroughbred Racing SA for the evening.

Also in attendance were John Letts (Adelaide) and Neville “Nifty” Wilson (Camperdown), who between them rode Redelva to 20 of his 21 victories.

The striking chestnut’s career thrust South East racing into the limelight from his first win at Flemington on October 5, 1985 until his final victory in the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield on September 9, 1991.

From 61 starts Redelva won 21 races, with 13 seconds and five thirds for prizemoney totalling $1791, 710, a staggering amount 25 years ago.

He never raced on South East tracks, starting with a second in the Fulham Park Plate at Victoria Park on September 21, 1985 and all his racing was in either Adelaide or Melbourne.

Redelva was owned by Millicent’s Reg Holloway and Bill Walter and was a sprinter winning races from 900 metres to 1400 metres.

His major wins were at Group 1 level, including the 1990 VRC Lightning Stakes at Flemington, the 1991 William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley and the 1991 Futurity Stakes at Caulfield.

He had three starts in consecutive years in the 1400 metre Group 2 Linlithgow Stakes (1988-1990) during the VRC Melbourne Cup carnival for two wins and a second.

In a glorious six-month period from October 1990 through to March 1991, Redelva raced on nine occasions for two wins and two placings at Group 1 level, a win and a second at Group 2 level, a second in a Group 3 plus a Listed win.

His only unplaced effort in that period was a sixth in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington (beaten only 0.75 length) behind Shaftesbury Avenue.

In a stellar period for Australian racing, Redelva constantly came up against the best horses in the land, including Better Loosen Up, Special, Zeditave, Planet Ruler and Schillaci.

On the Adelaide scene, Redelva won three consecutive SAJC Spring Stakes (1988-1990), starting an odds on favourite on each occasion.

To this day, the SA Jockey Club recognise Redelva with a race named in his honour, a sprint race during the Adelaide Festival of Racing in the autumn.

By Romantic Hope out of Delvena, Redelva’s famous colours of gold, brown maltese cross and quartered cup are still vividly recalled today by many of the South East racing fraternity.

Popular win

LONG serving Mount Gambier Racing Club office manager Vilma Vawser was also recognised for over 20 years outstanding service.

Vawser was a very popular winner as the Outstanding Achievement Award by an Individual for SA racing at the presentations.

The SA Horse of the Year predictably was won by Viddora, part owned in Mount Gambier, on the strength of her wins in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes in Perth and in the Magic Millions Snippets on the Gold Coast.

There is a double whammy for local racing next weekend with racing at Casterton and Naracoorte this Sunday.

At Casterton, it is Heywood Cup day along with a steeplechase and two hurdle events.