Michael Moroney’s last start Kilmore Cup winner Rhythm To Spare put in a solid piece of work at home in Melbourne on Tuesday morning ahead of his Sydney raid this weekend in the Villiers Stakes 2015.
The Royal Randwick summer feature attracted 26 nominations this season with local gelding Happy Clapper early favourite to win the $250,000 Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at his home track.
Another last start winner in the mix is Moroney’s Pins six-year-old Rhythm To Spare, the Flemington-based gelding coming off a narrow victory in the Listed Kilmore Cup (1600m) from November 22.
A multiple Group 1 performer and Group 3 winner, the horse also won his Kilmore Cup lead-up saluting over the Flemington mile on Emirates Stakes Day during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
For both wins, which took his record up to eight wins from 27 starts and made him a six-time winner over the mile from 13 attempts at the distance, Rhythm To Spare carted 60kg to victory.
On Saturday in the Villiers Stakes, his first look at the Randwick track, he drops three kilos to 57kg with weights topped by the John O’Shea-trained It’s Somewhat (59kg) coming off a second to fellow hopeful in the Group 2 Mighty Lucky in the Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill on November 28.
The weight and distance look right for Rhythm To Spare’s Randwick debut, which will be his first Sydney run since a failed 10th in the wet behind Weary in the Group 3 Doncaster Prelude (1500m) at Rosehill in April last year.
Gearing up for his run on the weekend he was put through his paces at home at Flemington on Tuesday morning working right handed on the grass over 1400m.
He completed the solid gallop in 1:36.22 with a 600m sectional of 35.63 seconds and completing his final 400m in 23.34 seconds.
Following Happy Clapper in the all-in Villiers Stakes betting markets is another last start winner, the Chris Waller-trained Telepathic coming off back-to-back wins.
Getting in on 54kg the five-year-old Mossman mare was last seen winning the Listed ATC Cup (2000m) by nearly two lengths on November 28 at Rosehill.
She drops 400m in distance then for the weekend shooting for just her second win from six starts over a mile.
Adding more interest to the field could be last year’s New Zealand winner Puccini, now prepared by this year’s Melbourne Cup winning trainer Darren Weir.
The five-year-old Encosta De Lago stallion posted his first top three finish for his new Wangoom-based stable on November 14 at Sandown-Hillside when beaten just three quarters of a length running third in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes (1800m).
Eclipse Stakes winner Casino Dancer is also in the Villiers Stakes mix shooting for another win, the Hawkesbury-trained Casino Prince mare in flying form.
Prepared by Mike Van Gestel, she won the Group 3 Angst Stakes (1600m) at the same track and distance she sees on Saturday on October 10 before two third place efforts including behind dual Group 1 winner Lucia Valentina in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
Lucia Valentina runs in the Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) this Sunday at Sha Tin.
Casino Dancer backed-up from her Melbourne Cup Carnival run with the Eclipse Stakes success and returns to Sydney on Saturday going up a kilo off her last start to 55kg.
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