By Isaac Murphy
Promising young sprinter Coopes has been in the Steven Scott kennel barely a month and after a narrow miss in The Million Dollar Chase heats the trainer is keen to explore just how much improvement the lightly raced two-year-old has to come.
Coopes tackled the 520m at Albion for the first-time last week and despite a bad start and luckless trip, battled on for what Scott called an encouraging second.
“I thought he went well all things considered, it wasn’t just bad luck he didn’t have any luck, but he kept coming which is promising,” Scott said.
“I’m not sure what happened at the start he’s usually a good little beginner but as soon as he got off the mat he was in trouble, but he’ll improve from the run for sure.”
Scott hopes that improvement will come in the Grade Five 11th at Albion on Thursday night, where Coopes will jump from Box Seven.
“It’s far from an easy race, the majority of the field are thirty (seconds flat) winners,” Scott said.
“I’d like to see him get out in the lead to gauge if he can get a full 500, whether that’s tomorrow night we’ll see.
“But I’m not too worried about it, it’s just a stepping stone I’m looking at going to Wenty (Wentworth Park) with the dog, but hopefully he comes out well with a quick first sectional and shows what he can do.
“On Wednesday the 10th they’ve got the heats of an age race down there (Wentworth Park), hopefully him and his brother will go into that and another age race the next week, The Peter Mossman I think, so all things considered that’s the plan.”
Coopes began his racing career in Victoria, but when his previous trainer didn’t think he would make it as a 500 dog, Scott snapped up the sprinter and talented brother Mottza, in partnership with owner Carolyn Knox.
“We train for the owner Carolyn Knox who has both Coopes and his brother (Mottza), Scott said.”
“She gave me a call and asked me if I wanted to take them on because they didn’t think they’d make the 500 in Victoria, so it worked out great I got a couple of handy sprinters.”
Coopes is lightly raced with only nine starts under his belt, but Scott said his maturity is testament to his owner’s patience.
“I know Carolyn breaks them in a little bit later she’s a bit old school likes them to have a bit of age on them before they go to the breakers but looking at him now he’s matured into a beautiful looking dog," he said.
Scott said he believes both Coopes and Mottza will make it as 500 metre dogs, but with their early speed and race manners the brothers have plenty of wins ahead of them regardless.
“It’s probably yet to be seen if they can both get the 500, the trainer who had them in Victoria didn’t think so, but I’m fairly confident I can get them there, if not they’ll win plenty of sprint races.”