Al confident with Larry Lincoln but the draw takes Hustler out of play on Saturday night
With a wide barrier draw taking Northview Hustler out of play at Albion Park on Saturday night, Lincoln Farms will be looking to Larry Lincoln to fly the flag - and trainer Al Barnes is very confident he’ll do it admirably.
Larry Lincoln doesn’t have the best form line in the third race but it doesn’t reflect the enormity of his last start run.
Sent forward soon after the start from a wide draw, driver Hayden Barnes was left stranded three wide when the parked horse kicked up and he had no option but to go all the way back to last.
To see the horse then sprint fast up the inside in the home straight, only to run into a brick wall, came as quite a surprise to his trainer.
“Hayden said he was bolting and he would have won for fun if he’d got out. If he runs up to that form I’m very confident he can win on Saturday.”
Barnes said his son quite rightly decided not to put his foot down when denied the chair.
“Given the work he did early anyway it was great to see him finish like that.”
Larry Lincoln was doing handstands in behind the placegetters, finishing fifth but only 4.4 metres from winner Ice Pick Angie. His closing sectionals of 54.7 and 27.47 were the fastest in the race.
“Nothing in that field on Saturday will run those times and even though his form has slipped a little he should get a lot of respect back now. He can bounce straight back and show them what he can do on Saturday night.
“Two the second row is a good draw for him to sit handy and it’s a good stake.”
The A$14,000 purse - about A$7800 to the winner - is only $1000 less than the main pace, but Barnes isn’t thinking he can get any more than the dregs with Northview Hustler drawn six in the opener.
“The field is drawn on ratings and unfortunately six puts us out of the race.
“From an inside draw he can hold his own - he can leave the gate on the bit - but if he’s out wide and you’ve got to chase him to cross and put one on his bum he just doesn’t finish his races off.
“He’ll go back and we’ll save him for one sprint so he runs on.”
Barnes says Hustler can’t threaten the two favourites Turn It Up and Colt Thirty One who dominate the betting and will probably end up leading and breezing.
More news in Harness
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Unlucky Argyle deserves to be rewarded at Albion Park tonight - just no bad luck please
Ray looking forward to Lincoln Lou and fully oxygenated Frisco Bay at Cambridge on Friday
Why Lincoln Farms had to buy lot 68 - his older brother Lincoln Lou is ready to rock
Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them
Friday night at Cambridge
Race 3: Lincoln Lou
“He’s a beautiful little horse and I’m looking forward to seeing him run. It’s hard to know how good he is, or how far he’ll go, but I guess we’ll find out on Friday. He’s the one to beat from the draw. If he doesn’t win, he won’t be far away.”
Race 5: Commander Lincoln
“I won’t be holding my breath. He tries hard enough but he lacks a bit of high speed.”
Race 8: Onyx Shard
“It’s two and a half months since she last raced, and she didn’t grow as much as I thought she would, but I’m expecting her to go a good race. Her last two trials have been good and she’s pulled up well.”
Race 8: Obadiah Dragon
“He’ll need a good trip from five but he’s not out of it. He went a good race last time at Cambridge and would be as equal a chance as Onxy Shard.”
Race 8: Beaudiene Rocknroll
“It’s heart-in-the-mouth stuff with him until they let them go but he should step away this time. Zac (Butcher) said the gate went particularly slowly before that race and that’s why he got impatient. I thought he did well to recover for third. If he made the front, where he goes best, he’d be hard to beat.”
Race 9: Frisco Bay
“He’s a tidy horse and I’m expecting a big run. We’ve sorted the problem he had with his breathing last season and he’s right in the zone now after a second and a win at the workouts.”
Mark Dux’s comments
Saturday night at Albion Park
Race 5: Argyle
11.02pm NZ time
“It wouldn’t have mattered where he drew this week, he’s in the money, barring bad luck. He’s going terrific and he gets in so well at the ratings.”