Race Images - Gallops

Kamanda Lincoln, pictured beating Oligarch a neck 12 months ago, tackles the same race at Riccarton on Wednesday.

12 months on and Kamanda Lincoln looks beautifully placed to score again

It might be 12 months to the day since Kamanda Lincoln won a race but don’t let that put you off backing him in the last race at Riccarton on Wednesday.

Lincoln Farms’ Savabeel five-year-old has a number of factors in his favour:

  • He gets back up to his favourite 2500 metre trip, having confirmed in the same race last year that he is most competitive at the extreme distances.
  • He is taking on a lowly rating 65 field, company far inferior to that he has faced in his 10 starts since his last win.
  • And he will be ridden by an in-form jockey in Johnathan Parkes.

In-form jockey Johnathan Parkes. He will don Kamada Park’s black and white silks on Wednesday.In-form jockey Johnathan Parkes. He will don Kamada Park’s black and white silks on Wednesday.Trainer Lisa Latta’s confidence levels are high that we will see the best of Kamada Lincoln on Wednesday, the horse having travelled beautifully to Christchurch and settled in well.

And the only thing that stops her from labelling Kamada Lincoln an outright winner is his wide draw, a handicap he has battled all season.

“He’s had no luck this time in, he hasn’t had a draw to be able to ride him midfield, which is the ideal place for him to be.

“It’s just so hard to ride a race on him from wide draws because he needs to relax. If you try to ride him handy he doesn’t finish his races off.

“At least it’s not a big field and hopefully he can get a position that’s not dead last, then he can get something to cart him into the race.

“After all the wear and tear the track took on the first day the fence might be a bit off and then the draw won’t be too bad.’’

Kamanda Lincoln, who contested last season’s Dunstan Final at Ellerslie and Summer Cup and St Leger at Trentham, is actually racing a lot better than his 6996 form line suggests.

His last start sixth at Trentham was full of merit after he drew 17 and rider Sam Collett made an immediate beeline for the rails, settling last.

He was still there 500 metres out but mounted a good run and, despite being held up briefly 200 metres out and bumped 50 metres out, finished only two lengths from runner-up Tipping Point.

His closing 600 metre split of 35.65 was bettered only by the easy winner Abacus.

Latta says Kamanda Lincoln is really suited by races over 2500 metres and she expects that he’ll love 3200 metres when he finally gets to tackle one.

Kamanda Lincoln franked his 2500 metre form at last year’s cup carnival with a brave fourth in the St Leger in March. After being hampered at the start, he weaved a home stretch passage to finish only five lengths from Daytona Red and 2.3 lengths from runner-up Felaar, early co-favourite for Saturday’s New Zealand Cup.

Latta immediately spelled the horse with a view to preparing him for this summer’s big cups. But her problem now is that as a rating 63 horse he will struggle to make the fields for those races unless he can dramatically lift his points.

That’s why she skipped last Saturday’s Metropolitan Trophy in favour of Wednesday’s race - and why she favours tackling a rating 82 2500 metre race on Saturday instead of the New Zealand Cup if he goes well on Wednesday.

“I know John (Street) really wants to run in the cup but I’m just worried that even if he manages to scrape in we’d be struggling to find a suitable rider at the light weight.

“We’ll just have to wait and see but it might be better for him long term to tackle the easier race and get more rating points so we can get into races like the Wellington Cup in January.’’

Latta expects the track condition to be perfect for Kamanda Lincoln on Wednesday. It was officially rated a dead 4 today but Latta says it should improve to a good 3, the same as when he won the race last year.

“He actually prefers the fire out of it a bit but a good 3 wouldn’t worry him.

“This horse has run some pretty reasonable races and he’ll be very hard to beat with an ounce of luck.’’

Jamie Richards’ Bak Da Master has opened the $3 favourite with Kamada Lincoln second fancy, a solid each way proposition at $5.20 and $1.95.

Lincoln Farms’ partner in Kamanda Lincoln, Kevin Pratt’s Kamada Park, has a second runner in the race, the last start Wingatui maiden graduate Thatladyrocs ($16).

Our runners this week