Veteran Cranbourne trainer Jimmy Redenbach is thanking his lucky stars he’ll be watching his exciting prospect Shadale (pictured with handler Geoffrey Lance) take aim at Group 1 glory in Saturday night’s Maturity Classic at The Meadows.
It’s not the fact that Shadale will be chasing a $100,000 winner’s purse in the Maturity, but Redenbach is grateful to be here at all, after suffering a heart attack on the Tuesday before the Classic semi-finals.
“It was my second heart attack and it was a real bad one this time. I thought I was gone, gone, gone!” Redenbach revealed.
“That’s why I couldn’t handle the dog at The Meadows last Saturday but with a bit of luck I’ll be able to handle him on Saturday.
“I’m very lucky to be here but my health is never going to stop me training dogs. If I’m going to go, I’m going to go with the dogs. They’re beautiful animals, I love them and they’re my life. That’s the end of the story.”
Redenbach is no stranger to feature race success, having most notably prepared Group winners Hotshot and Shimaguni.
And while Shadale, which has found the line strongly in heat and semi-final placings, is a $15 outsider in TAB’s Maturity market after drawing awkwardly in four, Jimmy knows better than most about defying the odds after his recent health scare.
“He’s a hard-chasing animal. At this stage I would say you couldn’t get a better chaser than this dog,” Redenbach said.
“We always knew he had ability. He broke 30 at his first trial at The Meadows and he gets the 500 very easily. He might stay in the future.
“He’s not really quick early and he’s been belted around in his heat and semi-final, but he keeps coming and if he gets a crack at them on Saturday night they’ll know he’s there!
WATCH: Shadale finish second from box five in the second Maturity Classic semi-final.
“Don’t get me wrong, he’s going to need some luck and if he gets jammed up his race will be over. But if he gets a clear run, I’ll tell you what, he’s a chance for sure. I don’t care how good the other dogs are. If he’s two or three lengths off them after the first turn I reckon he’s got it. It’s worth $100,000 too!”
There’s a very strong family involvement in Shadale’s background, with the son of Barcia Bale and Budgie Lass, a 2010 Laurels finalist that was also trained by Redenbach, bred by Jimmy’s brother-in-law Geoff Lance.
“I bought Budgie Lass’ mother Giddigan for my brother-in-law, Geoff,” Redenbach explained.
“She won five or six races and won at Sandown. When she retired I told my brother-in-law they had to breed with her but they didn’t want to so I gave her to a friend of mine. They bred a litter but none of them won and I said to Geoff he had a chance to get her back again.
“So they got her back and she had a litter to Meticulous, whose mother (Dance Portrait) won the Laurels. It was a great litter and two dogs I trained, Budgie Lass, the mother of Shadale, and Coolan Miss, both made the final of the Laurels (2010).
“There are four owners, including Geoff, in the syndicate that races Shadale and they’re the best owners you could have.
“When I had the heart attack last week my brother-in-law left his wife, who’s not well either, and his busy business straight away to come and help me. He stayed until Sunday and did the dogs for me. What a beautiful person. I was very proud of him and I would love to win this race for him.”