When Scooterwillrev headed to the spelling paddock after a fifth placing in October last year, connections decided to give the pacer another prep with retirement in the back of their minds.
Fast forward another preparation, and the pacer has notched up another three wins in five starts, including Sunday nights Launceston Mile.
“When we turned him out last time, we weren’t sure how he would come back, or even if he would get back and I said to the boys if he comes back good, we will press on if he doesn’t, then we will retire him, but he has come back as good as ever,” said trainer Craig Hayes after Sunday nights win.
Kept out of the early speed battle, driver Gareth Rattray took the $2.70 chance to the spot outside the leader near the 1300-metre mark, where he sat for the remainder of the race to prove too tough late for the leader and race favourite Cool Water Paddy in 1m 55.5s, just 1.1s outside the track record on a cold Launceston night.
“I was rapt with him. I was expecting a good run from him as he has been working as well as he has ever gone, but to sit parked and go that time was a pretty good effort,” said Hayes.
Those that elect to bet in the run would have ruled Scooterwillrev out on the final bend where he was placed under pressure.
“He has never been able to get around the corners for one reason or another. He is probably getting around them the best he has. Once he gets around them, he is fine, Launceston seems to suit him, but because they were running, he got a little bit unbalanced,” explained Hayes.
The trainer indicated the gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere would have one more start this preparation.
“We will go to the Golden Mile on Sunday week, and then I reckon he will have a little break as there won’t be much for him for a little while,” said Hayes.
Longford trainer-driver Todd Rattray dominated the early part of the program with a treble in the first three races of the night.
Both Magic Joe ($2.40) and Radiant Red ($1.95 fav) led all the way to score in their respective races, but the most impressive winner from the Rattray camp was lightly raced three-year-old gelding Lancelot ($1.35 fav), who registered an impressive 21-metre win.
Rattray was able to get through the field with ease in the early stages to take up the spot outside the leader at the 1700-metre point.
The Roll With Joe gelding took over at the 300m and raced away from his rivals for a dominant win in a 57.0s last-half mile.
Conor Crook also drove a treble on the card, scoring in the final three races.
His first two winners were for the Ben Yole stable with Pink Ponder ($19) and the well-supported Postal Run ($26 into $8.00) before training and driving short price favourite Kuyomi ($1.35 fav) to victory in the final race of the night.