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Rabchenko Is A Fighter

by Wayne Currall

Not sure if the Charles family named their pacer after Belarusian boxer Sergei Rabchenko, but Rabchenko appears to have more than a fighting chance in tonight’s Milne Feeds MS Pace (2130m) at Gloucester Park.

The four-year-old gelding was once known as purely a leader. That’s to say that once he found the front he was always tough to roll but a breakout performance at headquarters last month quashed any doubts that there was more to this horse than many people first thought. In that race, he sat in the breeze outside of Hot Fraternity, with odds-on favourite El Hombre parked off the speed directly behind the leader. When Hayden Charles, the son of trainer Kevin, asked Rabchenko for the supreme effort the son of Art Major dug deep to outstay both Hot Fraternity and El Hombre. It was a tough win – the last 800m was covered in a tidy 57.1 – and one that made many pundits sit up and take notice of his ability.

Rabchenko is drawn awkwardly on the inside of the second row tonight and will follow out the Aldo Cortopassi-trained and reined To Infinitynbeyond. The last time To Infinitynbeyond drew an inside barrier at GP he speared straight to the front and ran them along to record a strong victory over the 2536m journey. To Infinitynbeyond is drawn to lead from the pole, which means Rabchenko should get an ideal passage all the way. He only needs to get some racing room over the final 400m to prove very dangerous.

Rabchenko’s last run when he finished fifth only 6.4m behind Franco Rayner over the sprint trip of 1730m was a “get on me next start” effort. The horse tramped three deep when the winner carved out his last 800m in a slick 56.4. To finish so close to the flying Franco Rayner after doing all that work puts Rabchenko in a very strong position for tonight’s assignment. He’s each-way all day in a race with many winning chances.

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