Consistent youngster breaks maiden status

After a string of excellent runs in tougher races, the Danny O'Brien-trained Take The Rap broke his maiden status in style in the Event Studios Australia Handicap at Flemington yesterday.

Stakes-placed on debut when second in the Merson Cooper Stakes in November, Take The Rap was able to finish strongly over the concluding stages of Saturday's 1410m event and win at his sixth career outing.

O'Brien was delighted with the effort of Take The Rap and also praised Chris Symons for his first ride on the juvenile.

"He rode him perfectly," O'Brien said. "He got to the right spot and the race was all over at the furlong (200m)."

After hitting the front inside the last couple of hundred metres, Take The Rap ($8.50) was able to skip clear of Stoneblack ($5.50) to win by 1-1/4 lengths.

The same margin away third was $5 favourite Italian Machine.

"He's been very honest. He's been in good quality races all season and today he got the right run. He was able to get some cover behind Stoneblack and he was always travelling well," O'Brien.

"We'll have a chat to his owners and see where we are at with him. Probably at the moment we are a bit limited with his size. If you have a look at him he's only a little fella. But he's been competitive all season and I'm sure there will be some wins in him next year."

Take The Rap cost O'Brien $135,000 at last year's New Zealand Yearling Sale at Karaka. His family is well known and has performed with great distinction for the O'Brien stable.

Aroon, the dam of Take The Rap, is a half-sister to the O'Brien-trained stakes performers Keano and Be Delicious.

O'Brien said he was a bit of a fan of Take The Rap's sire No Excuse Needed, a Group Two-winning son of Machiavellian.

"He's a pretty decent stallion. He's only got four-year-olds running and the best horse he's had is Daffodil who won the AJC Oaks very well," he said.

"We've had two or three of them through the stables and they've all been able to win a race."

Story by The Virtual Form Guide, to view full story click here

Photo by Bruno Cannatelli, to view Bruno's website click here

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