Ajay Lincoln will run better on Wednesday than his formline suggests
Ajay Lincoln looks like carrying the Lincoln Farms’ banner solo at Tauherenikau on Wednesday with the expected defection of Authentic Charm.
But while the horse’s form looks woeful, trainer Lisa Latta says to expect a much better run in his first tilt at a middle distance.
Latta is almost certain to scratch Authentic Charm from the second race because it will be too tough for her, drawn nine of 11. Instead she will run the mare on her home track at Awapuni on Friday.
“It’s too hard when you’re drawn out, particularly at Tauherenikau. We’ve been teaching her to go back and relax and she’ll get too far off them from there.’’
Ajay Lincoln will be at long odds in the third race, even with magic rider Chris Johnson aboard, but Latta says he’ll run better than his 998 formline suggests.
“He’s drawn nicely at barrier five and I am looking forward to finally getting him up over a middle distance.
“While he hasn’t shown much so far he hasn’t been stopping and last time Chris rode him he said step him up to 2000 metres straight away.
“He works like a nice stayer and even though he’ll be better when he’s four I want to see him show something.’’
Latta says Johnson reported Ajay Lincoln raced much better in blinkers at his last start.
“He hadn’t been doing things right and didn’t want to be among other horses.’’
The Sebring gelding is bred to show something over ground. He is out of the four-race winning mare Full Of Spirit who bagged the 2012 Group III Adrian Knox (2000m) at Randwick before running fourth in the ATC Oaks (2400m).
“I know he’ll be a lot better when he strengthens up but if he can even weigh in on Wednesday I’d be happy.’’
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Saturday at Trentham
Race 1: Lincoln Valley
“He didn’t have all favours last start- he was three wide without cover the trip and the effort told in the last bit. He also got squeezed up a little late. From the six draw we will go forward and I’m sure Lisa will have learned a lot from him in his last run. His work has been really good and I have added a nasal strip as he is quite a noisy breather and it may help. It’s not an overly strong field and the big roomy track will suit.”
Race 7: Platinum Spirit
“We are racing him out of his grade so he gets in at a nice light weight. Carrying 60kg last start was a really big ask and he got there a touch too soon. He has drawn awkwardly at 12 but he has the ability to put himself in the race if there’s a lack of speed. He looks fantastic and still holds a nomination for the Wellington Cup next week but might need to gain a few more points to get into the field. Chris Dell rides.”
Race 8: Father Lenihan
“The outside draw is tricky but Robbie knows him well - he’s ridden him in three of his four wins - and I’m sure he will make him jump and put him on the speed. He’s been out of the winner’s circle for a while but he went a great race last start and this field is nowhere near as strong. We were going to step him up over ground but he sits so awkwardly in the ratings at 76 that he would be carrying the top weight of 62kg in a R74 2000m.”