Apprentice Jordan Childs has made the most of a pick-up ride on Royal Rapture, steering the in-form gelding to a convincing win at Moonee Valley.
Michael Dee had ridden Royal Rapture to victory in his past two starts and was booked to ride him again in Saturday's Westar Trucks Isuzu Handicap (1500m) but relinquished his Moonee Valley rides after being suspended for eight meetings at Geelong on Wednesday.
With Childs aboard, the Darren Weir-trained Royal Rapture stalked the speed behind leaders Majestic Duke and Nevis before racing clear in the straight to win by three lengths.
He upstaged well-supported $1.90 favourite Pilote D'Essai who had the settle for second for the second time this campaign, while Master Zephyr was another half neck away third.
Weir had a little concern about dropping Royal Rapture back to 1500m from his recent wins over 1600m and then 1700m at Flemington but said the speed in Saturday's race ended up suiting him.
"He's in a real purple patch," Weir said.
"When the speed was on and he was able to relax without pulling too hard, he was always going to be in the finish.
"I'm not sure what we'll do with him now. He's won four of his past five so we'll just keep trying to pick the right races and keep him happy. Hopefully he keeps racing well."
G2 - Prix Doynel De Saint-quentin
G2 - Prix Joseph Lafosse
Listed - Secretariat Stakes
Listed - Southeaster Sprint
G2 - Southern Cross Stakes