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Scott hopes to reignite Irish Flame


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Local trainer Brett Scott hopes Saturday’s Victorian metropolitan meeting at Mornington can reignite the spark in his veteran galloper Irish Flame (NZ) (Zed).

The eight-year-old has been somewhat out of sorts of late, but Scott believes a local-track hit-out in the Listed Ansett Classic (2400m) could be just what is required for the 2020 Ballarat Cup winner.

“I think the big thing with him is trying to get back into race form,” Scott said.

“If he can get back to the form of the prep when he won the Ballarat Cup, he’d be right up to this.

“The big thing is we just want to get his confidence up and get him back in the winning line, he’s that type of horse. Once he’s in good form and feeling good and running well, he’ll keep running well.”

Scott says firm tracks did not play into his son of Zed’s hands last spring, but he looks set to improve on softer ground this time in.

“He had a bad spring last year, he ran in the Rupert Clarke (1400m) and the Toorak Handicap (1600m), two runs in a row on genuinely Good tracks and they got the better of him and hence he couldn’t perform race day,” Scott said.

“He had a good four months off, just trying to recoup, now we’re just trying to get him back into similar form he was in the prep before (spring 2020).

“Being a year older he’s just looking for a genuine mile-and-a-half, which we get on Saturday.

“His last run at Moonee Valley (2040m) we were expecting him to probably go better than he did coming off his run before where he was really competitive, but he ran really dour, he had a good run and when they quickened, he was really one-paced, but then at the 100m he was finding the line again.”

Irish Flame holds a nomination for the Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday in November, but Scott admits a lot needs to go right between now and then.

“Don’t get me wrong he’s still nominated for the Melbourne Cup, it’s a bit of a gamble for the owners really, it’s up to the horse to find form again,” he said.

“This run Saturday, then probably the next start after that will tell us if it’s worth even continuing along that road or whether we divert our path towards easier races, there’s plenty of races for him.”

To again be ridden by Daniel Stackhouse, Irish Flame (barrier seven) is a $14 chance with Sportsbet to win Saturday’s race.

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