Day At The Track

Scooter revs in Easter Cup

03:42 PM 04 Apr 2021 NZST
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Scooterwillrev, Harness racing Photo

Scooterwillrev gained redemption after a second placing in the 2019 Easter Cup to take out the 2021 edition of the Launceston Pacing Club’s feature at the Ladbrokes Racing Centre on Saturday night.

Sent out as a $17 chance, the Craig Hayes-trained pacer pinged the tapes to find the lead in the 2698-metre event.

Connections said post-race that they intended to hand up to the $2.00 favourite Willie Go West, but he galloped away from the tapes, with driver Gareth Rattray electing to hold the lead then.

Rattray then bowled along in a lead time of 85.1s, into quarters of 30.6s, 30.4s, 28.1s and 27.9s.

They proved too good for Ryley Major ($5.50), who put up a brave fight after racing outside the leader for the final mile to be defeated a half-head while Isaac ($101) sat on the winners’ back third, in a Tasmanian-trained trifecta.

It was a brilliant training performance by Craig Hayes as Scooterwillrev was only second-up from a 25-week break in the Group 2 feature, which was the gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere’s sixth start in almost 17 months after returning from a New South Wales campaign.

Connections had the pacer ready to go for the 2020 Easter Cup, however, Tasmanian racing was suspended due to COVID-19 four days before the heats.

“We got him back (from New South Wales), and he just wasn’t himself then, so we gave him a break then and we got up and he was the best as I had him, and then COVID came, so he had some time off and then after that we got him back, but he wasn’t the same horse, so we tipped him back out and tried again, and this is the result,” said a very happy Hayes after the race.

“He had done all the work he needed to going into the heat, and he pulled up well from that, and it was a great run and excellent drive by Gareth only dong what he had to in the heat,” explained the Stowport-based trainer, who said the win was his biggest thrill in the sport.

“This is the one I wanted to win with him, just the issues he has had. I thought he deserved to win a big race,” added Hayes.

The win was the first in the race for Hall of Fame reinsman Gareth Rattray.

“It has sort of eluded me. I have won a lot of other feature races, so to finally do it in this race is a good feeling,” said Rattray post-race.

“I was able to dictate in front, and I just kept on rolling and full credit to Ryley Major, he has come off 20-metres and just got beat, but Scooter has good manners, and we were able to capitalise on that,” explained Rattray.

Connections will discuss the future plans of Scooterwillrev in the coming days.


Duncan Dornauf for Tasracing

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