Al: The start’s critical for Lincoln’s Girl - ‘If she leads, they won’t beat her’
There’ll be no white flag put up just because Lincoln’s Girl has drawn the outside of the gate at Albion Park on Tuesday.
Trainer Al Barnes says the Kiwi filly will be sent forward and if she leads, he doesn’t think they can beat her.
“I’m confident she can run top three even if she has to park,’’ says Barnes who last week won his fourth straight race with Trojan Banner for Lincoln Farms and its partners.
Lincoln’s Girl opened her Queensland account with an easy win on April 5 when she drew three, came out with them, and took up the running after 400 metres.
But Barnes says the filly has a lot more gate speed than she showed that day for his driver son Hayden.
“She was squeezed up early so Hayden took a hold. But he could have led straight away without that.
“The start on Tuesday is important and we’ll be going forward for a crack. She ran an opening 27.8 quarter easily in her first start so has a bit more there.
“If we can’t cross them, we’ll still put the pressure on and they might let us go.
“She likes to be out and rolling along.’’
Lincoln’s Girl’s main opposition has drawn the two inside spots but Barnes says likely favourite Regulus doesn’t have high gate speed and pole runner Tuapeka Light is a sit sprinter who is unlikely to have a finishing kick if used too much early.
Menangle visitor Regulus, a seven-race winner, is also on the quick back-up after finishing fifth in the Triad Final on Saturday night.
“Lincoln’s Girl won easily first-up and was nowhere near ready,’’ says Barnes.
“She’s improved greatly since then and is probably 90% now. Her trackwork this week has been strong and she’s been really keen. In the lead-up to her first race she was quite relaxed.’’
Barnes says he is confident Lincoln’s Girl won’t over-race with her anti-choke device and he believes with her strength she is capable of running a mile in a high 1:54.
Meanwhile Barnes reports Trojan Banner has come through his latest win last Friday in fantastic order.
“There’s no race for him on Easter Friday so I’ll find a race for him the following Tuesday or Friday.’’
More news in Harness
Ray: It’s a lottery on Friday night and my trio will need a lot of luck from their poor draws
Cranbourne Gold Cup big step-up for Make Way who’s just the new kid on the block
A little tinkering and Ray will have his three babies ready for the first Young Guns heat
Back to Cambridge, from a good draw, Double Or Nothing will be hard to run down
Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them
Thursday night at Cambridge
Race 6: Double Or Nothing
“He’s got very good gate speed and from the draw is definitely an each way chance. It’s a huge drop in class for him.”
Race 8 : Lindi Lincoln
“We found she had a virus last time and treated her. She may need the run but she should get an economical run and will go a good race.”
Friday night at Auckland
Race 3: Hampton Banner
“He won well last time but, while he’s an improver, he has yet to meet a field of this quality so is just on the watch list.”
Race 3: Line Up
“He trialled up very well at the weekend and is in good shape. But he’ll have to go back at the start from eight so will need luck.”
Race 3: Copy That
“He’s at the mercy of the one in front of him. But if Cloud Break leaves fast (as he can), he could get a nice drag along. He was very good at the workouts and I’m very happy with him.”
Race 4: The Empress
“I’ve thrown her in the deep end but she has a bit of gate speed so should be able to stay handy from one. If she can finish in the first four of five I’ll be very pleased.”
Race 5: Ace Commander
“He never got a crack at them last week - Blair (Orange) had to virtually stand him on his ear in the home straight and said afterwards he thought he could have been right in it. He’s been feeling good this week and will go well with the right trip.”
Saturday night at Cranbourne
Race 7: Make Way
11.37pm NZ time
“It’s going to be a hard race for him to win - he’s only a four-year-old who’s the new kid on the block - and he’s never been against these horses before, some of whom are already racing on the Grand Circuit. But I’m hopeful he’ll be competitive and, with the right trip, it wouldn’t surprise me if he was right there at the finish.”