Trainer Todd Rattray is hoping added fitness and a change of gear will help Our Summer Vacation take out Launceston’s first trot race for almost a century at Mowbray on Wednesday night.
The former New South Wales gelding finished a close third behind Ten Caisses and My Jackofdiamonds when the trotters returned after a 91-year absence in Hobart 10 days ago.
Now it’s Launceston turn to host the square gaiters with a field of six to contest the $8100 discretionary handicap over 2698 metres.
Our Summer Vacation is clearly the best-performed, with 12 wins and $120,000 in stakes, earning him the back mark of 40m.
The eight-year-old was driven by French reinsman Germain Boisrame when he motored home over the closing stages to be beaten in a photo-finish in Hobart.
“(Germain) waited until the home straight to let him go because he was hanging in,” Rattray explained.
“We’ve changed a bit of gear this week and hopefully he’ll be right now.
“He’s on the back mark but he’s pretty safe so I expect him to get away alright.”
Our Summer Vacation, previously trained in Sydney by Rattray’s brother James, is the only trotter in the family’s Longford stable at the moment.
We’ve changed a bit of gear this week and hopefully he’ll be right nowTrainer Todd Rattray
“We’ve asked a few people about getting another one and hopefully we will soon,” Rattray said.
“There’s an owner in Victoria pretty interested in sending one down and James might have another one for us as well.
“The trot races are worth pretty good money.”
Rattray only returned to the sulky last Friday night after missing more than a month with a broken arm sustained while playing football.
While he was out, Rohan Hillier closed the gap on the drivers’ premiership to just six wins, 64 to 70.
“I thought I had to come back a bit earlier (to stay in front),” Rattray said.
“I’ve got a pretty good book of drives on Wednesday night.
“We’ve had a cold go through the whole farm so hopefully they’re all over that now.”
One of Rattray’s better drives is Yatsenyuk Leis is the 3YO Pace.
The Shadow Play gelding ran fourth in the Sires Produce at his last start and is likely to be at short odds following the withdrawal of debut winner Sheza Bettormak.