A successful reconnaissance mission completed at Ellerslie on Sunday should see Awapuni visitor Lincoln Blue return to the venue for a tilt at the $1m Gr. 1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) in March.
The Lisa Latta trained Savabeel colt had impressed many with his comprehensive victory in last month’s Gr. 3 Wellington Stakes (1600m) at Otaki. That impression was only deepened as he stepped up to the 2100 metre distance of Ellerslie’s Listed Race 4 Life 3YO Salver and once again dominated his opposition.
Given a beautiful run in the trail by rider Masa Tanaka, Lincoln Blue was always travelling like a winner. The colt quickly dashed a length clear in the run home and maintained a strong gallop to the line as he comfortably held out the late challenges of Redeem The Dream and Smiling Touch.
“We’ve got him nominated for the Derby so we had to bring him up and try him out,” explained owner John Street after the race.
“He won at Otaki pretty well, up against some nice horses that he ran away from, so we had to bring him up for the 2100 metres and try him to see if he could go right handed.”
Any fears about the colt’s ability to handle the distance and the right-handed way of going at Ellerslie were quickly dispelled although Street did harbour some concerns prior to the race.
“We knew he needed to come up for the experience but he never ate up last night so we were a bit concerned,” he noted.
“He’s a real colt and can be a bit of a handful but (Masa) settled him beautifully and he ran it right out.
“He’s beautifully bred by Savabeel from a Pins mare who has already produced a stakes winning full brother. It’s a pedigree that we know works so now we just want him to see the Derby distance out.”
Lincoln Blue is the younger brother of multiple stakes winner Brambles who took out the Queensland three-year-old Triple Crown in 2012 with victories in the Gr.3 Rough Habit Stakes, Gr. 3 Grand Prix Stakes and Gr. 1 Queensland Derby.
An opportunity to buy into the family will be available late next month when Waikato Stud offer a full brother to Lincoln Blue as Lot 349 during the Premier session of the annual New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale Series at Karaka.
Source: NZ Racing Desk