Unbeaten 3-year-old gelding Love Tap (by Tapit) turned in a dominant display on his Sydney metropolitan debut when leading from start-to-finish to claim the $200,000, Group 3, Precise Air Gloaming Stakes (1800m) on Rosehill Gardens’ Group 1 Saturday program.
Successful in three previous outings at Nowra and Goulburn (twice), the near white son of US sire phenomenon Tapit stepped into both city and stakes company for the first time in his career and stamped himself as a potential star member of the 3YO Classic division.
Sent to post a heavily supported odds-on favourite, Love Tap was also sent straight to the front by big race rider Nash Rawiller and seemed completely in command of the assignment every step of the way.
After being given a breather leading into the final 600 metres of the contest, Love Tap accelerated to a comfortable lead soon after straightening and never looked likely to be caught during any stage of the Rosehill Gardens run-in.
Love Tap ultimately finished close to a couple of lengths clear of Street Dancer (by Pride of Dubai) in second, Bucharest (by Deep Impact) in third, and Favreau (NZ) in fourth — the trio finishing in a line across the finishing line.
Tap Love is trained by Richard & Michael Freedman and races in the colours of Dynamic Syndications. Speaking after the win, co-trainer Richard Freedman showed genuine surprise at the manner in which the handsome grey gelding was ridden to victory.
Love Tap and Nash Rawiller, picture Sportpix.com.au
“I didn’t expect Nash to lead,” declared Freedman. “I said to Nash don’t let the leaders get too far away. He kind of took that a bit literally.
“I was happy to see him out there. They would have had to run some good sectionals to run over him.
“He only does what he has to. He is a pretty relaxed trackworker and a pretty relaxed horse generally.
“That is job done. He’s building.”
Freedman later added: “It is good that he is versatile. He won his second race from back in the field and his last two from on top of the pace.
“He’s pretty versatile and on the way up. I’m glad we have him and he’ll be a better horse in 12 months.”
Rawiller explained that an inside barrier draw basically dictated his race tactics.
“He was very sticky out of the gates again,” began Rawiller. “I gave him a squeeze just to make sure I wasn’t dead last. He did what he has been doing and quickly overcame that.
“It certainly wasn’t the plan to lead, but I was very happy to take it up and get him into his own rhythm. Ride him like the horse I think he is.
“He got into a beautiful rhythm down the back there and when a bit of pressure came on about the 700m, he was straight there for it to quicken.
“[He] Got a little bit lost late. He was sort of waiting for them a little bit. But I love the way he came again for me on the post when I really asked him.”
Rawiller then confessed: “I’ve loved him from the first time I sat on him. I think I ran last in a Rosehill trial and I came back and said to the boys at Dynamic [that] I thought he was a really promising horse.
“You just like to see them not let you down and so far he hasn’t … I guess the main goal is in a couple of weeks time.”
Winning time of the race was 1m48.89s (last 600m in 34.90s).
Official margins were 1¾L x Short Head.
SPs on the Gloaming Stakes were Love Tap $1.70 favourite, Street Dancer $17.00, and Bucharest $9.00.
Love Tap races for Dynamic Syndications Racing, Mr D M Badger, Ms J E Mors, Mrs T E Parish, Mr A M Parish, Mr S L Goodger, Mrs V D Dowling, Ms P Speight, Mr J Yianni, Mr N B Patterson, Ms A Rohde, Mrs C G Bodey, Ms D G Hall, Mr S A Hardiman, Mrs K Corby, Mr A N Luckman, Miss A J Hayes, Mr G J Breen, Mrs K Tew & Dynamic no. 94, and has now won $143,000 after four straight victories.
Following his win in Gloaming Stakes, tab.com.au installed Love Tap the $2.50 favourite (from $3.50) for the Group 1 ATC Spring Champion Stakes. The performance of Favreau also saw his odds slashed from $26.00 to $11.00 by tab.com.au.
The distinctive Love Tap, picture Sportpix.com.au
What the beaten jockeys said:
Brenton Avdulla (Achiever): “We ended up a pair further back than I would have liked. Whether he peaked at the trip or wants it better.”
Jeff Penza (Easy Campese): “Good run. He settled nice. When a horse came outside him he wanted to over-race. Horse is going well but might need a little break now.”
James McDonald (Bucharest): “Super. Going well.”
Hugh Bowman (Cadenabbia): Asked about the nature of the run - “Not [satisfactory] really.”
Regan Bayliss (Street Dancer): “Pretty proud of his efforts coming out of a maiden at Newcastle. He held himself very well. Fourth up he’ll head toward the Spring Champion.”
Josh Parr (Bob): “Nice effort. He is just an immature colt. Needs seasoning.”
Kerrin McEvoy (Sagrado): “Had to go back from the draw. He might have felt the firmer ground today. ”
Sam Clipperton (Favreau): “Terrific run. Probably looking for a wetter surface. He is a very classic type of horse. Crying out for a trip.”
Gloaming Stakes, photo finish picture ATC