Day At The Track

Narra Operative chasing successive Cup wins

04:02 PM 03 Dec 2015 NZDT
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Narra Operative and Kerryn Manning
Narra Operative and Kerryn Manning

The connections of Narra Operative will be hoping their honest gelding can make it back-to-back Rayners Fruit and Vegetables Stawell Pacing Cup successes on Sunday.

Locally owned and trained, Narra Operative hails from the camp of Kerryn Manning in Great Western – less than 15 minutes from Stawell.

“He’s a lovely horse. I always like driving him,” the New Zealand Trotting Cup winning trainer/driver said.

“First-up he went real good and then second-up at Gunbower he might have been a bit flat maybe. I don’t know if it was because he was backing up so quickly.”

Narra Operative has drawn barrier eight in the Group 3 2590-metre stand start race on Sunday, following out stand start debutant Yankee Rockstar, who will start a short-priced favourite.

“He’s got a good draw if the one gets away,” Manning said of her charge.

“Sometimes barrier one is the toughest draw for one having their first go at the stand.”

Manning said the speed needed to be on for Narra Operative to be a winning chance.

Stand start specialist Macho Comacho has drawn barrier three and can begin quickly, as can country cups stalwart Arber drawn in four.

“He’s not really a sit-and-sprint horse so he needs the speed on, but if there’s a bit of pressure up front and he can get a soft run he’s a rough show. He can surprise them,” Manning said.

Yankee Rockstar is trained by Emma Stewart and will be driven by Gavin Lang, the team behind Philadelphia Man in the Perth Inter Dominion series at the moment.

From the pole if he steps away the five-year-old is clearly the horse to beat, having won 17 or 23 starts.

Almost El Eagle is drawn two and is coming off back-to-back cup wins at St Arnaud and Gunbower. He’s making an early play for country cups horse of the year.

Michael Stanley trains Hilltop Hustler, a smart six-year-old who resumes on Sunday and is drawn six for Greg Sugars. Expect a good show from him first-up.

Last-start Melton winner Weallwantano has struck form at the right time and is drawn six, while Jivin Cullen is a former Kiwi who has campaigned in Queensland and Sydney but has recently joined the Brad Hunt stable at Great Western. He’s drawn seven.

Last year’s country cups king Road To Rock will come out of nine for Haydon Gray, while Master Pip has drawn 10, Nota Lada is the emergency and is No.11, Owen Martin-trained Farmersntradies is racing well and has got barrier 12, while Smudge Bromac from the David Aiken stable – a stablemate of current Inter Dominion favourite Lennytheshark – is the lone runner from the 10-metre tape.

The Stawell Times News Stawell Trotters Cup is the other feature race on Sunday.

Race one will be at 1.22pm.

by Cody Winnell

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