Unlucky Rapbidash Ready To Atone In Randwick Highway

Lyle Chandler’s Rapbidash has paid the penalty for maximum consistency and a massive run in the Newhaven Park Country Championships Final but still represents value as the TAB Highway series resumes at Royal Randwick on Saturday.

The highly promising Supido mare ($8 into $6 on TAB) arguably should have won the Final when she powered from near last to finish third to outsider Asgarda.

Rapbidash (Mitchell Bell) lands the money at Newcastle. Image by Bradley Photographers

But she rises to a hefty 60.5kg with Adam Hyeronimus in the $120,000 Class 3, 1400m episode from 54kg in the Final.

The big South African trainer remains upbeat after that effort followed an equally impressive second in the regional final at Tamworth and an overall three wins from just eight starts.

While Rapbidash has drawn barrier 14 in a capacity field, Lyle considers it a positive and she looks certain to come in closer as four emergencies have inside gates.

“The weight is off-putting but not unexpected with the benchmark points from the final but I’m happy to be drawn out there,” Lyle explained.

“She’s a mare that needs to be in space on the outside of horses. And lately wider is the place to be with the rail out.”

On Saturday, the rail is out 7m from the 1000m to the winning post.

“Anyway, she’s a tall strong mare with the capacity to handle weight.”

“She gets back so it’s preferable with weight to be back a bit in a big field rather than be up front and pressured which is generally the case in Highway races.

“She’s a mare with a super turn of foot and she can build momentum out there and miss some traffic which has been messy in her last couple.”

Rising in status every season, the resumption of the series drew a booming 35 nominations and typically 30-plus Highway winner Matthew Dunn has accepted with three gallopers.

Topweight Tip of the Spear ($10), Belvedere Boys ($2.40) and Bravely ($18). Belvedere Boys is favourite with Dunn’s prolific series success with Nash Rawiller an inside draw and a Doomben win preceding a Highway success and 3rd in the Scone Wild Card.

Meanwhile, the widely travelled Chandler who grew up on a farm near the famed Kimberley Diamond mines, spent time as a foreman in England and Europe before linking as foreman with the O’Shea and Van Dyke stables in Sydney.

It was harder for him getting work in England because most demand is for staff to also ride trackwork.

So hardly suitable for the 6ft, 100kg+ Chandler built like a Springbok Rugby forward.

Royal Randwick at present is a Good 4 but there is a high chance of showers on Friday and Saturday morning with a partly cloudy afternoon on raceday reaching a top of 22 degrees.

– Racing NSW

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