Up-and-comer Rheinberg dug deep on tiring legs to keep his winning streak alive in Saturday’s Changing Places Real Estate Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield.
It was the third win in succession for the New Zealand-bred gelding, who has now had a total of nine starts for four wins, four placings and A$143,265 in stakes.
Rheinberg was sent out as a warm favourite on Saturday, having scored emphatic wins at Sale and Sandown in his two previous appearances. But this time he had to work much harder to complete his hat-trick.
Ridden by Michael Dee, Rheinberg chased a fast pace set by Rambler Rebel. Rheinberg had the task of dragging the field up behind the leader approaching the home turn, then was left all alone in front as that rival tired at the top of the Caulfield straight.
Rheinberg’s efforts began to take their toll in the final 200m, and Chorlton Lane charged home out wide on the track to provide a major late scare, but the favourite held on and prevailed in a photo finish.
“It was a good, tough effort,” Dee said. “He was left in front a long way from home – pretty much the entire length of the straight. He’s still coming on fitness-wise, so he started to get a little bit tired towards the end. He certainly didn’t want any further today, but he was very strong and tried hard. He was almost having a look around down the straight too, so I’m sure there’s still plenty more in store.”
Rheinberg was bred by Westbury Stud owner Gerry Harvey and began his career with three starts in Harvey’s blue and white colours in New Zealand. Trained by Cody Cole at Matamata, he recorded a second, a third and a fifth from his three appearances in March and April of last year.
Rheinberg was subsequently sold to clients of Lindsay Park and is now trained by Ben, Will and JD Hayes, for whom he has recorded four wins from six starts to date.
“He did a great job today,” Ben Hayes said. “The tempo was much faster than we expected and he never had any cover. He had to bring himself up behind the leader, then hit the front a long way from home, so he’s won very well.
“We’ll see how he pulls up, but I’m sure there’ll be a nice (Benchmark) 84 coming up for him over the next couple of weeks. We’ll just bring him through the grades and keep trying to get these wins along the way.”
Rheinberg is by Westbury’s high-strike-rate stallion Swiss Ace, who is the sire of 340 winners from 504 runners. The dam of Rheinberg is the Snitzel mare Schiffer, who won two races and finished third behind Karuta Queen in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m).