The light blue and white checked colours of Rapid Equine were seen to advantage on either side of the continent on Saturday with Reykjavik (Flemington) and Proconsent (Belmont).
Rapid Equine owner Neil Irvine divided a cool $114,000 in prizemoney with his racing partners and punters who backed them all-up would have been celebrating when they saluted at $13 into $15.
But both winners are worth more than just money in the bank to Irvine and his team at Balmoral Park in Bedfordale.
Reykjavik (Artie Schiller) is by the same sire as Newgate Farm stallion Flying Artie and his own stud credentials received another boost in the Apache Cat Hcp (1600m). The Lindsey Smith-trained sprinter-miler is a Flemington specialist with prior wins in the G3 Chatham Stakes and LR Winter Championship Final.
“He let down beautifully and galloped to the line very impressively,” stable spokesman Shane Jackson said. “Half-way down the straight, I thought Lewis (German) might want to get going but he knew the horse and they were really travelling.
“He’s a versatile galloper so there’s plenty of options going forward.”
Irvine races Reykjavik with breeder James Ch’ng. His dam Gibraltar Storm (Rock Of Gibraltar) is a half-sister to stakes performer Storm Burst and the same partners have retained his yearling full-brother Harbin who has gone into pre-training with Smith at Warrnambool. The mare is due early this season to Fiorente and is booked into So You Think.
Proconsent also powered home to lift his winning strike-rate in the Sky Racing Provincial Championship Final (1400m) at Belmont on Saturday.
The 4yo son of Balmoral Park sire Proart sprinted from the back-half of the field for a one-length victory over Hot Style (Ouqba) and Pastry (Gingerbread Man). He was coming off a very impressive Championship heat win at Pinjarra but wasn’t expected to test hot-favourite Power Of St George.
The $100,000 Final improved his record to 5 wins in 9 starts and endorsed Irvine’s decision to take him home after bidding fell short of a $30,000 reserve at the 2017 Perth Magic Millions.
“He’s learning to settle and is finishing off his races really well,” co-trainer Rob Harvey said. “It was a good result for Neil and we will keep this one ticking over and hopefully go through the grades.”
Proconsent is from Wagga winner Bimutualconsent (Bianconi). She has a filly foal by Proart and was bred back to him last year.