Trainer Darren Duffy plans a tactical change for Sneakyn Down Under in tomorrow night's $400,000 SEW Eurodrive WA Pacing Cup (2536m) at Gloucester Park and has high hopes he will stage a form reversal.
The gelding, who three weeks ago scored his 24th win, faded to fifth after he was taken forward early to settle second in last Friday's Lancaster Park Pace (2130m) won by cup rival Livingontheinterest.
Duffy said yesterday he would strictly instruct Sneakyn Down Under's reinsman Morgan Wood-ley to drive far more patiently in the cup.
"I don't want Sneakyn Down Under rushed up near the lead again," Duffy said. "He'll have a much better chance if dropped back and brought with a late run.
"The horse has been freshened this week on a routine including beach work. I hope he can win on the 20th anniversary of our family's best harness racing success."
Duffy's late father Ray trained and drove The Harlem Boy ($51) when he won the 1993 WA Pacing Cup from Perth star Jack Morris and Victorian raider Franco Tiger.
"Dad bought Sneakyn Down Under in New Zealand shortly before his death five years ago," Duffy said. "There's a lot of sentiment attached to this horse."
In-form reinsman Nathan Turvey yesterday picked up the cup drive on New Zealand import Russley Rascal, a $600,000 earner co-trained by Greg and Skye Bond.
"Russley Rascal is a class horse and I'm looking forward to my first drive on him," Turvey said. "He's drawn awkwardly at gate five, but could be right in the finish if we have a little luck."
Greg Bond said Russley Rascal had recovered from a cold which caused his late scratching from last Friday week's _The West Australian _Village Kid Sprint (1700m).
Colin Brown will drive stablemate Can Return Fire in the cup and Bond predicts improvement by the gelding.
Bond said Can Return Fire had hoof soreness after he was an unplaced favourite last Friday week.
"His shoes have been altered and he's 100 per cent again," Bond said.
"The horse had joint and hoof issues when joining our stable last season, but he's raced well with careful management."
Bunbury trainer Stephen Reed expects his bargain horse Uppy Son to run a bold race.
"We never imagined he would be a WA Pacing Cup starter," Reed said. "But his last-start performance was up to cup level."