Al adopts new silks to help us follow Brisbane team - and guess what, they’re green!
Lincoln Farms’ owners will soon find it easier to follow their horses in Queensland with trainer Al Barnes adopting a new set of colours for the Kiwi horses.
When Lincoln’s Girl and Vasari race at Albion Park on Friday night they will be sporting Barnes’ black colours with a white, red and yellow sash.
But Barnes figures few of the horses’ owners are familiar with his garb so in future that pair, plus hi-flyers Northview Hustler and Trojan Banner, will carry Lincoln Farms’ familiar bottle green.
But Barnes has a new twist on the theme, adding the words Lincoln Farms in white to the colours which he hopes will feature prominently at the upcoming winter carnival.
Barnes says he didn’t want to offend Lincoln Farms’ No. 1 trainer Ray Green by simply copying his colours which have cream cuffs and a cream collar.
“But I thought the new look will help Lincoln Farms’ owners find their horses during a race and it will help advertise Lincoln Farms.’’
Barnes has made a great start training Lincoln Farms’ horses in Queensland with Trojan Banner unbeaten in five starts, Northview Hustler a winner in his only start, and Lincoln’s Girl in the winners’ circle twice.
Barnes is hoping the new silks arrive next week and in the meantime believes Lincoln’s Girl and Vasari are both each way chances on Friday.
“Lincoln’s Girl went super last time - I didn’t know how brave she’d be when I saw her caught in the chair (death seat), but Hayden was very happy with how she went.’’
Unable to cross the pole marker at the start from three, Lincoln’s Girl sat parked throughout the 1660 metres, before taking the lead turning for home.
It was only in the final few metres that the filly was swamped, finishing a nose and 1.3 metres from the winner in a 1:55.1 mile rate.
“It was only the horses that had the drop on us that beat us,’’ says Barnes.
“And we now know if need be she has the stamina to slide round to the chair.’’
Lincoln’s Girl doesn’t have the luxury of being able to gun for the lead on Friday night, and drawn two on the second row will need an ounce of luck to feature.
Barnes believes she’s a top two chance with the breaks but says she only has to finish in the first half of the field to progress to the final of the $10,000 Pot Of Gold event.
“It’s not a bad field but she’s as good as anything else in there.’’
Vasari again gets his chance to lead from three on the front in the final race at 7.22pm NZ time.
Barnes hoped Vasari would lead last week in a heat of the Young Drivers’ Championship but thought his driver Taleah McMullen was a little timid at the start.
“She didn’t really chase him out and got caught three deep.’’
That virtually took the horse out of play because Vasari is a one-pacer who can’t accelerate on a dime.
By the time Vasari got out it was too late yet he still closed to within 3 metres and a head of winner Corey William in a sizzling 1:52.4 mile rate.
His closing 800 metres of 55.45 was the second fastest in the race and easily faster than the first two home.
With his son Hayden back in the cart on Friday night, Barnes says Vasari should get out a lot better and have his chance to cross the pole marker Magoogan who can begin smartly.
“The horse is really well and he’ll win one soon. It’s a good line-up but he should run top three.’’
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Friday night at Auckland
Race 1: The Empress
“She’s very capable of winning but you couldn’t label her. But she’d have to be very unlucky not to get some of it.”
Race 3: Lindi Lincoln
“She went quite nicely at the workouts last Saturday but she’ll probably need a race to tighten her up. It’s not a great field but the draw (outside front row) isn’t ideal.”
Race 5: Line Up
“I’m confident Line Up can beat Henry Hu who puts in some terrible steps around the corners. He’d have to do plenty wrong to get beaten.”
Race 5: Bettor My Dreamz
“He’s back in the right grade and will be right there with a trip, but he’ll need a perfect trip to have any chance of beating Line Up.”
Race 7: Copy That
“He’s the best horse in the field without a doubt - it just depends on what passage he gets from that draw, but if he gets a good trip I can’t see anything beating him.”
Race 9: Double Or Nothing
“I think he’ll run just as well as usual. The draw’s not great but he doesn’t have to lead to go well - he can go back if David wants to.”
Saturday night at Albion Park
Race 5: Northview Hustler
10.08pm NZ time
“I’ll go back and save him for one sprint from the 300. It’s hard to predict where he’ll finish driving like that but the field is a bit weaker than last time with Watch Pulp Fiction not in and the step-up to 2138 metres will definitely favour us.”