Darren Smith-trained gelding Testarhythm scored the first stakes win of his career in a what was a dominant performance in the Listed 2013 Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) on Thursday.
Paying $12, the five-year-old was far too strong for his more-fancied rivals, winning by 1 1/2 lengths from Soledad and Uate.
Brenton Avdulla positioned the son of Testa Rossa just behind the speed before gaining the lead with 100m to go and storming home for a dominant victory.
It was by far the biggest win of the progressive galloper’s career, taking his record to five wins from 15 starts and his prize pool to $260,000.
The victory was his second straight and was a big step up in class after he narrowly won a BM85 event at Canterbury on December 29.
The Darley-owned Soledad jumped a $3.50 favourite and was solid to finish second in what was his first start since a solid winter-spring campaign.
It was the seventh straight top three finish for the Commands gelding who has won four times from 15 starts.
Uate also produced a pleasing performance to finish third showing signs of the horse that was good enough to win at Group 3 level in the Skyline Stakes in 2011.
In the other feature races of the day, Moriarty produced a strong finish to claim a second straight stakes win in the 2013 Gosford Cup while Cathay Lady notched up her fourth straight win to win the 2013 Belle Of The Turf Stakes.
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Takeover Target Stakes 2013 – Results
|1||7||TESTARHYTHM||Darren Smith||Brenton Avdulla||–||8||54kg||$12|
|2||6||SOLEDAD||Peter Snowden||Kerrin McEvoy||1.5L||4||54kg||$3.40F|
|3||4||UATE||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||1.7L||9||55kg||$4.60|
|4||1||WILLY JIMMY||Guy Walter||Rod Quinn||2.2L||10||59kg||$26|
|5||8||KAYPERS||Greg Bennett||Jason Collett||2.3L||6||54kg||$21|
|6||2||ROCK ’N’ POP||Gai Waterhouse||James McDonald||2.8L||2||58.5kg||$5.50|
|7||9||MARONEY AVENUE||Rodney Northam||Robert Thompson||3.3L||5||54kg||$10|
|8||3||ZARATONE||Nick Olive||Ms Kathy O’Hara||3.4L||1||57.5kg||$6|
|9||5||IZABABE||Peter Nestor||Christian Reith||5.4L||7||54kg||$12|
|10||10||ORTHIE’S GEM||Garry Neale||Tommy Berry||11.7L||3||54kg||$26|