Cut Above Ready for Rise in Class

“It’s a big class rise from Collie to Gloucester Park, but barrier one at Gloucester Park is worth three lengths,” said Serpentine trainer Matt Scott when assessing Cut Above’s prospects in the final event, the Pace on Friday night.

Cut Above, a four-year-old New Zealand-bred mare, took her record this season to five wins and three seconds from nine starts when she gave a bold frontrunning display to score a runaway victory in the Collie Cup, a stand over 2700m last Sunday week.

“She ran them ragged and since then she has worked well,” said Scott. “Twelve days between runs will suit her because she’s not a very big-framed horse. She’s ready to run a good race. I’d say Shannon (Suvaljko) will want to lead.

“She won’t have to go 27.4sec. for the opening quarter (of the final mile) like she did at her run over 1730m at Gloucester Park at her previous start. If we had our time again, we probably wouldn’t have pressed on as long as we did (working hard three wide and then in the breeze before getting to the front after 400m).

“She was beaten by only two lengths (finishing seventh behind the winner Halle Rage, who rated 1.55.6) and I thought she performed well.”

Cut Above is proving a good buy for Tim Blee, who purchased the Gotta Go Cullen mare from New Zealand for $25,000. Cut Above, who raced twice in New Zealand for a win and a second in stands, has earned $32,756 from her six wins and five placings from 18 starts in Western Australia.

Scott will also be represented in Friday night’s race by 148-start veteran Charlie El, who will be driven by Kyle Harper from barrier No. 5.

“Charlie El is one-dimensional and will be driven back in the field,” Scott said. “He had no luck last week (when seventh behind Kerrin Joseph). He was pushed wide at the bell and didn’t get much room at the end.”

Charlie El impressed four starts before that when he charged home from the rear to snatch victory from Liberty Rose over 2130m.

Harper said that he had high hopes of victory with another veteran, eight-year-old Debt Free Charlie in the 2536m Follow On Twitter Pace.

Debt Free Charlie has drawn favourably at barrier two on the front line and Harper is planning to set the pace with the speedy pacer and noted frontrunner who has a losing sequence of 12.

His latest success was over 2130m on December 8 when he led and beat Ohoka Darcy and Micheal Joseph. Harper declared that the 2536m journey would suit Debt Free Charlie perfectly, with the gelding leading and winning over that distance in successive starts at Gloucester Park early last year.