A RARE switch to standing start conditions, combined with a large handicap, should prove a minor obstacle for a rampaging Emain Macha.
Racing in sensational form, with four wins from his last five outings, Emain Macha is engaged in Sunday’s Victor Harbor Pacing Cup for trainer Greg Scholefield.
The gelding’s previous standing start appearance was in last season’s edition of the provincial feature.
On that occasion Emain Macha overcame a 10-metre handicap to account for Tezz Khora and Major Kiwi in a track record 2:01.7 over 2660 metres.
This time around the son of Safari will begin from a 30-metre backmark, with Bernie Winkle and Canada Bay the only other handicapped runners on the 10-metre line.
“He is in terrific shape and racing accordingly,” Scholefield said. “Coming off 30 metres is never easy, but the upside is the race is over 2660 metres which gives him plenty of time to make up the ground.
“At some stage he will have to be put into the race, especially if they’re going slow up front.
“He’s going to be hard to beat but as long as he puts in a good run I will be happy.”
Scholefield is utilising the event as Emain Macha final lead-up for the South Australia Cup at Globe Derby on February 8.
The six-year-old finished third in the 2019 Cup behind Victorian raiders Sicario and Dikerry.
“This will likely be his last start before the Pacing Cup,” Scholefield said. “It’s not easy finding the right races for him here as he is 119 in the national ratings.
“He’s had regular racing, an ideal preparation and is very fit, this will keep him at his top as we get ready for another shot at the Pacing Cup in a couple of weeks.”