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By Graham Potter | Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Just two races after Wheels saluted in the fifth race at Ipswich on October 27, the David Vandyke trained Rapaport, easy to back at $7.50, completed the double for the stable when winning the last race on the card, a Class 2 Handicap over 2150m.

This time the win was a little more heart-stopping.

Ronnie Stewart chased Rapaport to the lead from the break and he maintained his position at the head of affairs by a comfortable one-and-a-half lengths down the back straight, taking the field along at a fair gallop.

Stewart then asked Rapaport to do more in the sweep to the turn and suddenly the five-year-old son of Shamexpress was three lengths clear of the chasing pack … and you could make that four lengths when Rapaport straightened for the run home.

The favourite Southern Stock ($2.30) did set sail after Rapaport, but the Vandyke runner always had the measure of Southern Stock, but a more dangerous threat did emerge in the form of Ostermeier ($18) who rallied strongly from five lengths back and then changed gears again over the concluding stages to fly up late, seemingly going two strides to Rapaport’s one.

Stewart had to throw everything at Rapaport to hold off Ostermeier’s late charge, but his tactical ride early and his vigour in the finish combined to pay dividends as Rapaport clung on to his advantage by the narrowest of winning margins which would have disappeared in another half a stride.

Interestingly enough, like Wheels, Rapaport first career win came on debut in New Zealand at Waverley in a Maiden 2200m contest on November 15, 2020.

Like Wheels, Rapaport was then away from race action for a long time … just over nine months in fact … and, like Wheels again, when Rapaport resumed he did so in Australia where he wasted no time in opening his account, winning a Class I Handicap over 1800m at the Gold Coast on August 27, 2021 … to take his career record to two wins from two starts.

He then went to town but came unstuck, tasting defeat for the first time, when never seriously sighted in a BM72 race over 2000m at Doomben on September 11 in a run which had its sequel in the official steward’s report with that report stating:

‘RAPAPORT (NZ) - The gelding laid in under pressure at the 400m, and weakened under pressure in the home straight, RAPAPORT (NZ) underwent a post-race veterinary examination which revealed the presence of a small amount mucous in its nostril.’

The stable then sent Rapaport out for a barrier trial at Deagon on October 5, which he won beaten his stable companion Wheels to the line. (in going to that barrier trial and then coming to Ipswich together, the careers of Rapaport and Wheels amazing ran in parallel again).

Then it was on to this latest run at Ipswich and his third win from only four starts.

Ronnie Stewart has been in the saddle in both of Rapaport’s wins in Australia after Lisa Allpress had done the honours in his debut run in New Zealand.

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Rapaport ... pictured after his Gold Coast win.
Rapaport ... pictured after his Gold Coast win.
His race record is now three wins from only four starts

Photos: Graham Potter
His race record is now three wins from only four starts

Photos: Graham Potter
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