Royal Rapture will return to Launceston for the first time since 2015, lining up in the Listed Mowbray Stakes over 1600m on Wednesday night. The 53 start veteran will be chasing career win number 16, looking to build on an impressive record that includes 4 wins and 6 minor places from 13 starts at the track, boasting an impressive strike rate of 30%.
The gelding by Clangalang has a consistent performer for the duration of his career, winning 9 races in Tasmania before his Victorian stay, coming away with 6 wins from 21 starts in the metro circuit. Excelling as a 2 and 3 year old, Royal Rapture was thrust into the big league upon starting in Melbourne, running 5th behind Fell Swoop in the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes before finding Chautauqua in his very next start in the Group 2 Gilgai Stakes.
Darren Weir’s galloper will be chasing his first ever win in listed company, placing twice beforehand in 6 goes in listed grade as well as being tested in group 1, 2 and 3 company without success. Royal Rapture was once upon a time one of the country’s toughest runners, winning 6 races in a row between July and September 2016, his winning streak broken only by a 4th placing in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap behind He’s Our Rokii, Great Esteem and Tivaci.
Wednesday night should see Royal Rapture have his best chance at victory in recent times, forgivably failing to win in his last 8 starts when coming up against the likes of Redkirk Warrior, The United States, Ullmann, He or She and Stellar Collision. Pointing to positive signs for the his upcoming race however, he has been placed more often than not over the 1600m journey, previously winning twice.
Royal Rapture will have to contend with the in-form odds-on favorite odds-on favorite Hellova Street after drawing barrier 9 of 10 however it will be a test to see if true class prevails for the veteran after coming up against some of the country’s current best in his career to date. Damian Lane will ride for Darren Weir, with Royal Rapture paying $4.60 currently with Sportsbet.