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A Winning Rhythm!

It had been a while in between drinks for the unlucky Rhythm To Spare who rewarded connections for their patience with a dominant victory at Flemington on the final day of the carnival.

Dropping in class having contested the Toorak Handicap (trapped wide from an outside gate) and the Sale Cup (chasing a tearaway leader), Rhythm To Spare finally had things go his way.

Aided by a "masterful" ride by Damien Oliver, Rhythm To Spare proved 1 3/4 lengths too strong for his rivals in the $100,000 Antler Luggage Handicap - the win his seventh from 26 starts, increasing his prize money tally to $419,309.

Whilst the plan was to either sit just off the leaders or go back, depending on how the race was run, Oliver showed great initiative to instead take the lead when "nobody else wanted to go."

Jumping well, Rhythm To Spare sat outside the first two in running in the very early stages but when the lack of pace became obvious Oliver made what turned out to be a winning move, taking his charge to the front.

And from there he dictated terms, picking up the pace from the 600m and getting clear early in the straight - the others chasing but unable to get any closer to Rhythm To Spare as they neared the line.

"He got into a good rhythm in front," Oliver reported, adding that he was always going to prove hard to run down - "I knew I had a very fit racehorse under me and he did a great job to hold them all off."

Michael Moroney was delighted to see Rhythm To Spare back in form, the talented six-year-old sidelined by injury prior to this campaign.

"He did a good job under the 60kg," he said, noting that "he has had decent excuses for his last three runs."

Whilst Rhythm To Spare progressed to the 2000m Eclipse Stakes after racing at Flemington last spring, he will be kept to the mile this time around with the Kilmore Cup "a good race for him."

Raced by a big group led by R&C Legh Racing, Rhythm To Spare is a New Zealand bred son of Pins and the Group One placed Zabeel mare Stanica.

Purchased at the 2011 Karaka Premier by Paul Moroney, he is a half-brother to the smart gallopers Stanica Star and Makarska from a strong US family which produced the eight times Group One winner Game On Dude.

Rhythm To Spare's victory followed on from a win the night before for Trendsetter who proved too tough for his rivals over 2060m at Cranbourne.

Settling nicely in fourth position for James Winks, the Keeper five-year-old began his run from before the turn, winding down the leader (who had enjoyed a soft run) in the run home.

"I was a bit worried when the leader was getting that cheap run," Greg Hoysted said, "but he really fought it out well. He is going to make a nice horse in time and he is heading in the right direction."

James Winks agreed, noting that "he is still learning his craft so there is upside there. I think he will be up to better class races next year."

A three times winner from just 13 starts, Trendsetter is out of the Zabeel mare Fashionabeel from the family of Epsom Derby hero Shirley Heights and one of our favourite stallions Pentire who sired Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance.

[08 Nov 15]

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