Cut Above Can Bounce Back

New Zealand-bred mare Cut Above has managed just one third placing from her past seven starts, but Serpentine trainer Matt Scott is optimistic that she can bounce back to winning form in the 2536m Choices Flooring Pace at Gloucester Park on Friday night.

Scott advised punters to totally disregard Cut Above’s seventh placing behind Dracarys over 1730m last Friday night when Cut Above galloped in the score-up and lost about eight lengths.

“She got her tongue over the bit, causing her to gallop,” Scott explained. “She had not galloped previously. So, I’ve changed her pin bit to a chin rest to keep her mouth shut. So, we’re expecting her to be fine.

“The 2536m won’t worry her. She has won several standing-start races over distances around 2500m (over 2700m at Collie, 2636m at Narrogin, 2560m at Northam and 2503m at Gloucester Park).”

Cut Above, to be driven by Shannon Suvaljko, is sure to appreciate the coveted No. 1 barrier and Suvaljko is likely to attempt an all-the-way win, with the Debra Lewis-trained Athabascan a tough opponent. Athabascan, to be driven by Jocelyn Young rom barrier six, is a dependable stayer whose most recent outings over 2536m producing an all-the way win over Robbie Easton and a head second to Burning Rubber. 

Roman Aviator, trained and driven by Aldo Cortopassi, should also be prominent after running home solidly to finish third at three of his past four starts. Chris Voak has been engaged by Wanneroo trainer Debbie Padberg to drive 151-start veteran Bad Round from out wide at barrier seven.

Voak has handled Bad Round in four races, with the most recent occurrence being 46 starts ago when the gelding finished fourth behind Baylan Jett at Gloucester Park on October 30, 2018. Voak was successful with Bad Round when he ran on from three back on the pegs to beat the 7/4 on favourite Argyle Red over 2130m on January 9, 2018.

Voak is also hoping to make a flying start to the meeting by driving the Ross Olivieri-trained Just Makemine Diamonds in the 2536m Perth Plasterboard Centre Pace in which the five-year-old mare will start from barrier No. 3 in the field of nine.

Just Makemine Diamonds was hopelessly blocked for a run in the final lap of a 1730m sprint event last Friday night when she finished full of running in third place behind Dracarys and Millwood Molly.

“It would be good to be able to lead this week,” Voak said. “If she leads, she would give them something to chase. However, I’m not get too carried away by her run last week when it was just a walk before a sprint home.”