The Lincoln Farms way: Enjoying the thrills of racing - with a money back guarantee
Racing is littered with the rich and famous who have thrived on the public exposure of racing big race winners. But while the glory seekers come and go there have been few, if any, who have made it their business to share the joy with others like Lincoln Farms’ boss John Street.
Street has been a headlining owner of both the harness and thoroughbred codes for years, experiencing the thrills of winning races like the 2012 Auckland Trotting Cup with Sir Lincoln and 2011 Karaka Million with Fort Lincoln.
He won hundreds of races and millions of dollars in stakes before setting his mind to bringing the excitement of racing to a whole new audience.
And today, in what his business manager Ian Middleton calls “a great service for the industry” Street has dozens of people racing horses with him and his wife Lynne in special partnerships, the likes of which you won’t find anywhere else in the world. With a money-back guarantee and incredibly cheap cost structure, the Lincoln Farms partnership concept is generous to the point of “being ridiculous from a financial perspective,” says Middleton.
Not only are prospective owners not even put into partnerships until the horse has shown it is good enough to win – the cost of which Street bears himself - but, if the horse doesn’t win, people can choose to either get their money back or be transferred into another horse. “John wants to make it possible for first time owners to get into racing without it costing them a lot of money and to eliminate a lot of the risks,” says Middleton.
The bills in racing a horse are comparatively light too, with owners paying their share of monthly training fees for standardbreds capped at $2300 plus GST a month and thoroughbreds at $2500 plus GST a month. Lincoln Farms bears all the other myriad of costs that go with racing horses, like vets’ bills, blacksmith bills, transport etc.
“We don’t advertise or promote the partnerships – it’s mainly word of mouth – but there are plenty of John’s friends and others he didn’t know who are now having a lot of fun. Lincoln Farms always keeps 50% of the horses and I don’t think we’ve had a losing partnership.”
Some groups have even had windfalls, like the team which raced Harness Jewels winner Beaudiene Boaz. When the horse they had a 40% share in was sold to Perth for $250,000 their $40,000 investment turned into $100,000.
People are matched into horses they can afford
Horses who look like they’ve reached their mark are sold too – and Street’s generosity often sees those owners put into more valuable horses. With 71 thoroughbreds and 29 standardbreds on the books, people are matched into horses they can afford. Harness partnerships number eight at present and thoroughbreds 38, but the number is growing all the time.
Lincoln Farms has 40 thoroughbreds in work in New Zealand at any one time, mostly with leading Central Districts trainer Lisa Latta, and 30 standardbreds at Pukekohe with respected trainer Ray Green whom Middleton calls “an astute old dog.”
The harness horses are trained out of the former National Bloodstock barn adjacent to the track which Street spent more than $500,000 on, upgrading it into a facility matching his demand for excellence.
Only the best of the 14 two-year-olds which Green is educating will be raced by the partnerships, the likely non performers weeded out before anyone starts paying. And we’re not talking run-of-the-mill animals here. Among the production line are a number of top quality yearlings Street bought at the sales.
It’s a big operation and one which Middleton says the former Pak ’N’ Save king of West Auckland is happy to fund.
“John has made a lot of friends in the racing industry and this is his way of giving something back.”
Our latest winners
- The Northview Hustler partnership of Ian Gradwell, Chris Western, Shannon Flay, Four Legs syndicate, Ian Middleton and Lincoln Farms for the horse’s brilliant win in the Spring Cup at Alexandra Park.
- Denny Baker for his win with Abraham at Cambridge.
Our runners this week
Thursday at Woodville
Thursday night at Cambridge
Vinibaka, Lincoln’s Girl
Friday at Tauranga
Friday night at Kranji
Sunday at Otaki
Dreams Of Platinum, Lincoln Melody, Master Lincoln
Sunday at Kranji
Monday at Ashburton
Beaudiene Western, Northview Hustler
News in brief
STREET UNLUCKY: Pratt Street was dead unlucky not to win at Kranji last Sunday night. Rider Craig Grylls was badly held up in behind the leaders down the stretch and flashed late on the rails when finally clear, pipped a nose and a short head.
TIGER ROARS: Tiger Tara cemented a trip to Christchurch for the New Zealand Trotting Cup with a dominant display to win last Saturday night’s Victoria Cup at Melton. Driven to the front by Todd McCarthy, Tiger Tara scored by 12 metres over Chicago Bull, who was forced to breeze most of the way, in a 1:53.4 mile rate for the 2240 metre mobile. Tiger Tara has run third in the cup for the last two years behind Lazarus.
IN THE SWING: Former Lincoln Farms pacer King Of Swing continued his march up the grades in Perth when he scored at Gloucester Park last Friday night. The Rocknroll Hanover colt has now had 11 starts in Western Australia for nine wins and two seconds.