Wide draw a concern, but East hopeful of Horsham heroics

Operative Line will need things to go his way from a tough barrier draw according to trainer Rebecca East in today’s The Weekly Advertiser Horsham Pacing Cup.

Rebecca East
Rebecca East Picture: HRV

The five-year-old has drawn outside the front row for the feature, making it a tough task.

"The draw is going to be very hard from seven (six with scratchings)," East said. "It will all depend on if he can settle because he can get a bit fiery over the 2700 (meters). Other than that, the horse is good and it will be all up to him and the driver (James Herbertson)."

The 2700m trip of the Cup is a step-up for the pacer, whose last two runs were over 1720m and 2180m.

"He has raced over the 2600m in the Mount Gambier Gold Cup, in the heats and the final last year. He was good in the heats and over-raced in the final when he sat in the death," she said.

"Over the 2600 or the 2700, you have got to be able to settle and not use too much energy over the trip."

The 43-year-old trainer took the cautious approach to spell Operative Line after back-to-back wins at Melton and Ballarat in October.

"He won his last two before the break and we just felt like it was a good time for him to have a good break, while there was still some goodness in the grass," she said.

"He has popped along quite nicely in his two trips since the spell, so if he can get the trip and get a nice easy run, I think he shouldn't be too far away."

East is happy to leave the race plan in the hands of Herbertson.

"It will be all up to James, he knows the horse very well," she said. "He has driven him all the time, he really knows the horse and knows what his capabilities are."

The Aaron Dunn-prepared Little Louie (one) will start the $40,000 event in pole position, with Amy Day's Ararat Cup winner Dance Away alongside Operative Line in gate five.

The squaregaiting feature of the afternoon is the Woodlands Stud Horsham Trotters Cup.