Mike Moroney plans to press on into spring with eight-year-old gelding Rhythm To Spare, who erased his trainer’s pre-race concerns at Caulfield by winning again.
Rhythm To Spare won over 1600m at Flemington two weeks ago and Moroney admitted he started to panic before Saturday’s Ramlegh Springs On Clyde Handicap (1600m) that he had been too easy on the gelding in the lead-up.
But apprentice Brandon Stockdale settled $4.40 favourite Rhythm To Spare midfield and then was able to get a nice run between horses in the first half of the straight before edging past leader Foundry ($12) to win by a short neck.
Moonovermanhattan ($13) was another short-half head away third with another short head to Jacquinot Bay in fourth.
Saturday’s race was Rhythm To Spare’s seventh of this preparation and his third win of the campaign.
“To keep him going to where we’d like to get him, I’ve just kept him fresh,” Moroney said.
“I thought he might have been a bit fresh and I was starting to panic that I’d done the wrong thing, but it worked out well.
“I think there’s another similar race for him coming up at Flemington.
“But at some stage during the spring, at a mile, we’ll throw him in the deep end and just see where he ends up.”
Another crack at the Toorak Handicap is a possibility.
Rhythm To Spare finished fifth in the race in 2014 and was among the tailenders in the Group One handicap a year later.