Michael Moroney’s in-form galloper Rhythm To Spare enjoyed his first black-type win since May last year when Mark Zahra guided the six-year-old to victory in Sunday’s Kilmore Cup 2015.
Carting the equal 60kg top weight along with eventual sixth-placed Good Value, Flemington-trained Pins gelding Rhythm To Spare enjoyed an on-pace ride before a strong late burst to secure victory in this year’s $130,000 Listed Wandong Bus & Coach Kilmore Cup (1600m).
Backing up from a win over the Flemington mile during the Melbourne Cup Carnival on Emirates Stakes Day earlier in the month, Rhythm To Spare ($7) was gutsy on Sunday holding off challenger Eximus from the Mick Price stables to win by a long neck.
The runner-up had the weight advantage carrying 56.5kg and improved on a last start 10th in the Listed Sale Cup (1600m) from the end of October with Brad Rawiller, who won Saturday’s Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) aboard the Chris Waller-trained Junoob, aboard.
Finishing off the Kilmore Cup trifecta in third one and a quarter lengths off the winner was the Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained Longeron ($6), while race favourite Lord Athenaeum ($5) could only manage to beat home one other runner crossing 12th.
Zahra, third in this season’s Victorian premiership competition currently, gave Rhythm To Spare a red hot ride and was full of post-win praise for the horse who was easy to get into a nice stride even with the big kilos.
“I’ve been going alright, I’ve had a good spring apart from Cup week. It was good to get a chance today for Mike and the team, and the horse did well,” Zahra told Racing Victoria.
“I was really happy where I was because with a big weight around this track, he was just in his rhythm the whole way and really relaxed.
“Every time I clicked him up, he picked up underneath me. I was very confident coming into the straight.”
The victory was the first stakes success for Rhythm To Spare since his Group 3 RA Lee Stakes (1600m) win, also over a mile, in Adelaide in May of 2014.
He has now won eight of his 27 career starts for $497,309 in prize money, and while showing signs of needing a spell, Zahra said a run on a soft track could see the horse secure an even nicer race.
“He’s had a lot of runs this time in – maybe next time,” he said.
“He’s done well in the ground today, but he obviously needs the cut out of it.
“If he gets the right conditions, he’ll win a nice race.”
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