Jockey Chad Schofield has been happy with the 2014 Emirates Stakes lead-up form of Rhythm To Spare and he believes that the talented gelding is a genuine winning chance in the Group 1 event at Flemington tomorrow.
Rhythm To Spare finished his autumn preparation with back-to-back wins in the Peter Armytage Handicap (1610m) at Flemington on April 25 and a dominant victory in the Group 3 Lees Stakes (1600m) at Morphettville on 10 before he resumed with a credible fifth in the Listed The Sofitel (1400m) at Flemington on September 13.
The Pins gelding was never able to get into the race when he finished ninth in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on September 28, but he returned to his best form with a luckless fifth behind Trust In A Gust in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 11 heading into the 2014 Emirates Stakes.
Rhythm To Spare had no luck whatsoever in the final stages of the Toorak Handicap and Schofield believes that the five-year-old may have been able to challenge for the win if he had found clear running in the final stages of the race.
“With a bit more luck he could have finished a lot closer,” Schofield said.
“He actually went to the line hard held not having much room and he has had a month in between runs from then to now and I think he is a horse that appreciates going to the races nice and fresh and that is what he will be tomorrow.”
Rhythm To Spare was originally slated as a stayer to watch as a three-year-old and he finished second behind Hawkspur in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) during the 2013 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival in just his fifth race start before finishing a credible fourth in the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m).
Trainer Mike Moroney elected to train Rhythm To Spare as a miler for his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign and he recorded two wins before he finished a credible seventh behind Boban in the 2013 edition of the Emirates Stakes.
Schofield has a strong book of rides at Flemington tomorrow, including the plumb ride on Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m), and has the chance to add to his previous Group 1 victories on Shamus Award in the Cox Plate (2040m), Lankan Rupee in the Newmarket Handicap (1200m), Go Indy Go in the Champagne Stakes (1600m) and Sonntag in the Queensland Derby (2400m).