AT THE FINISH: Indigo Jade (Kirk Matheson) leads his rivals a merry chase in the final stages Benchmark 50 (1300m) at Lismore on Saturday.
AT THE FINISH: Indigo Jade (Kirk Matheson) leads his rivals a merry chase in the final stages Benchmark 50 (1300m) at Lismore on Saturday. Nolan Verheij-Full

Rapidus chasing another win in Murwillumbah Cup

JOCKEY Raymond Spokes and the Bindi Cheers-trained Rapidus have struck up a formidable combination.

Spokes and the tough as teak four-year-old saddle up in the Murwillumbah Cup Preview over 1900m chasing their fourth successive win at the Ballina TAB meeting today.

Rapidus is gaining a reputation as an iron horse, today marks his fourth race start in 21 days.

Spokes prefers to call him a "gentleman."

"He's a lovely horse," Spokes suggested. "He does everything you ask of him. That's why he's winning races. He's just a real gentleman."

Taree-based Cheers had made a success of backing up her stayers in quick succession in an era when around two weeks between runs is the norm.

"She's turned it into an art form which is a credit to her training routine."

Spokes agrees with the pattern.

"If you've got a stayer fit why not race them," Spokes said.

"Bindi has done a great job with Rapidus. And he's a horse that has kept on improving."

Rapidus started his winning roll scoring over 1600m at Taree on May 17.

"They told me he'd get back and probably be run off his legs early," Spokes recalled.

"That's what happened. He got back to last but just before straightening I asked him to improve a bit and he did.

"Over the latter stages he just gobbled them up."

Rapidus then scored a winning double at Grafton in Benchmark 65 events on May 22 (2365m) and June 2 (2225m).

"In his last win he got back again," Spokes said. "He's a horse that when you ask him to improve he can.

"He finds that extra bit and he doesn't waste energy. He's got fresh legs and finishes it off best.

"It's been a good association with him."

Rapidus has little problem handling all type of surfaces but Spokes added he is more at home in the wet.

"He gets through the wet good," Spokes added.

"He's a horse that likes the pace on and at Ballina they normally go pretty quick and that's going to suit him.

"He's coming back a bit in distance but he's won over 1600 metres so the 1900 metres shouldn't worry him.

"I think he'll be hard to beat again."

See page 22 for Ballina fields.



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