Take The Rap wins Hayes Stakes

Despite conceding 1.5kgs to Encosta Belief after being defeated at their last meeting at Flemington a fortnight ago over the same distance, Take The Rap was an impressive winner of the $150,000 Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) – also known as the Debonair – at the same venue on Saturday.

Take The Rap was relegated from second back to third after losing on protest last start, but won in a manner on Saturday which left nobody requesting for the patrol footage.

Settling in fifth position, one off the fence and a couple of pairings back with Craig Williams in the saddle, Take The Rap made ground in the straight before demonstrating great determination to overhaul Encosta Belief over the concluding stages.

With the track upgraded to a Good (3) following the completion of race four, Take The Rap ($8-$8.50) defeated Encosta Belief ($3.80-$4.40-$4.20) by a neck with Extra Zero ($2.80-$3.80 fav) a further length away in third.

Italian Machine ($12-$15) fought on bravely from his on-pace position to hold down fourth with stablemate of the winner Eraset ($5.50-$4.60) finishing fifth, three lengths from Take The Rap.

O’Brien, who is currently in New Zealand at the Karaka Sales, was represented by Assistant Trainer Gerard Tesoriero.

“He was very good today, he’s been knocking on the door at his past two runs this prep when he was just facing the breeze the whole way – he just needs a bit of cover in his runs,” Tesoriero said.

“Today he got that and Craig (Williams) gave him a perfect well-timed run.

“We probably didn’t expect that last week (to lay-in) but with that in mind Craig rode him perfectly,” he added.

When asked whether he believed Take The Rap was a legitimate chance of winning, let alone beating his stablemate Eraset, Tesorerio answered, “Take The Rap has been such a consistent performer throughout his two-year-old prep and now as a three-year-old.”

“We thought they were on an even par today,” he said before adding “they were both going equally as well and the one with the better ride won.”

Take The Rap has now won twice from 10 starts with both wins recorded at Flemington over the seven furlong journey. He has been placed a further five occasions.

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Photo by Fiona Tomlin