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
Argyle salutes at last and Mark confident he’ll keep the till ticking over in the next grade
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.”