Day At The Track

Scoob ready to make up for lost time

04:58 PM 04 Apr 2019 NZDT
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Scoob Operator,Harness racing

It may have taken a few runs for Scoob Operator to hit his straps since crossing the Tasman but – thanks to a bit of hard work – the Kerryn Manning-trained gelding is starting to make up for lost time.

Manning, who will pilot the ex-Kiwi in the TAB Multiplier Pace at Tabcorp Melton Park on Saturday night, said the five-year-old had to overcome a few issues during the early stages of his Aussie career.

“He wanted to hang and not find the line a little bit,” Manning said.

“I said to Merv (Butterworth, owner with wife Meg), ‘I don’t know how we are going to go here because he doesn’t really want to try at the end’ but I have just been working him a little bit harder and he is starting to look really fit.”

The five-year-old has won his past two starts, with Manning saying the most recent triumph at Stawell was his best Australian run so far.

“He did a little bit of work but ended up getting a bit of cover and having not a bad run, but when I pulled out I wasn’t really expecting him to run past Jilliby Madonna as she has been going really good,” she said.

“He showed a bit of toe; I was really happy with the run.”

While a less than ideal draw will make things difficult on Saturday night, Manning says she expects Scoob Operative to make his presence felt in time should be draw a good alley in town.

Manning also hopes Our Bare Knuckle will be in the mix for her first metropolitan win in the Beraldo Coffee Pace over 1720m.

She said the mare – narrowly beaten at her last two starts, the last in a 1:54.2 mile rate over 1690m at Maryborough – had been “certainly knocking on the door”.

“She has stripped a lot fitter (but drawing) four is slightly awkward; she has got nice gate speed but she’s not brilliant, so over the short we are probably going to have to work forward and hope to not do too much to get a posse,” Manning said.

“It is a nice even field so she’s in with a bit of a chance if the luck goes her way.”

 

Shaun Campbell

for Trots Media

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