Gallops - News

Dashing jumper gives trainer career highlight

  • Sun, 05 Aug 2018
  • Caig Brennan
Excellent Rhythm (Jarrod Lynch) leaps to victory in the Crisp Steeplechase.

Excellent Rhythm (Jarrod Lynch) leaps to victory in the Crisp Steeplechase.

Excellent Rhythm has given a dashing display of jumping to give trainer Rachael Cunningham the biggest win of her career.

A $2,000 purchase, Excellent Rhythm led from the outset to take out today's $125,000 Crisp Steeplechase (3900m) at Sandown.

Holding a lead of approximately 25 lengths much in the style of the legendary jumper afer whom the race is named, Excellent Rhythm ($18) clung to his lead to defeat Sea King ($3.70) by a half-length, with the $2.60 favourite Monarch Chimes four lengths away third.

After an incident-packed day of jumps racing at Bendigo on July 22, the Crisp Steeplechase field was given resounding applause as the winner crossed the line. Cunningham wiped away tears as she explained what Excellent Rhythm meant to her small stable.

"He's just been the best horse for us," Cunningham said. "We purchased him a few years ago to jump, that was the plan, and it's taken three years to get him here.

"We've always had a lot of belief in his stamina to beat good horses like this.

"We know how long he can sustain that for but he needs to get out and rolling. It's just ridiculous."

Cunningham said winning jockey Jarrod Lynch, who also claimed his biggest victory, had been instrumental in Excellent Rhythm's success as he followed instructions to the letter.

A start in the Grand National Steeplechase at Ballarat on August 19 is now a consideration.

"We hadn't thought that far ahead," Cunningham said. "We were just hoping he ran well today so we'll see how he pulls up, but he owes us nothing.

"I'm a big believer in jumps racing and I believe in its place in the racing industry and the horses are prepared so well.

"We don't come into this half-hearted. It's just amazing."