All Trojan Banner needs is his sunnies and a brolly and he’ll burn ‘em off
The Brisbane heat, not the opposition, is about the only thing standing in the way of Trojan Banner scoring a first-up win in Australia on Friday.
Marburg trainer Al Barnes switched the Lincoln Farms-owned pacer to Friday’s meeting at Albion Park because as the winner of three races he is not eligible for next Tuesday’s race.
And while Barnes is tipping the horse should have no trouble beating his seven rivals from a perfect three draw, his sole reservation is the fact the horse will run during the heat of the day and it has been stifling hot in the state this week.
“It’s been a horrible week, with temperatures in the low 40s, and it can affect them when they race the first time in the heat.
“But it’s supposed to be only in the low 30s on Friday so he should handle it.’’
Trojan Banner is down to contest the third race at 1.17pm local time (4.17pm NZ time).
Barnes says Trojan Banner took a while to get used to the heat when he first arrived early last month but because he is worked before 8am and has a nice airy stable he escapes most of its ferocity.
“I haven’t overly worked him this week because of the heat - I gave him one fast run yesterday - but he’s forward enough.
“This is a nice little race for him. It’s not a bad field but they’re not his quality and he only has to do what he did in the trial to win.
“The three draw is perfect. We’ll let him balance up then roll to the front and it should be race over.’’
Barnes says while last week’s winning trial brought Trojan Banner on, he still has a fair bit of improvement in him.
He says the three-year-old is pacing well, a change of bit has stopped him from going too fiercely, and he should be a great winning chance for his driver son Hayden who is looking forward to the race.
Barnes’ boys are both doing well, his other son Brendan having posted his 300th winner last week.
Brendan is on race rival Sams The Best on Friday but his dad says he knows which one he wanted to drive!
More news in Harness
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Al adopts new silks to help us follow Brisbane team - and guess what, they’re green!
Pukekohe workout pointers: Lincoln Farms’ team bring their A game - even the bad boy
Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them
Friday night at Auckland
Race 4: Copy That
“He’s certainly got some speed. The race was all over by the time he got going last week and James never pulled the plugs. Clearly he’s the best horse in the field on ability. But there are no guarantees he’ll behave.’’
Race 4: Tommy Lincoln
“He’s trialling well but I won’t be expecting too much from gate six. He was a big, gangly, weak thing but he’s strengthened up a lot this time in.”
Race 4: Billy Lincoln
“It’s his first race, and first time away from Pukekohe and he’s drawn the inside of the second row so logic tells you he has a few things against him. Until six weeks ago he was extremely average but he’s progressively got better and better.”
Race 8: Governor’s Bay
“He had a tough trip last time so it wasn’t surprising he weakened. He’s training well and this field looks a lot easier.”
Friday at Albion Park
Race 1: Lincoln’s Girl
2.42pm NZ time
“It’s not a bad field but she’s as good as anything else in there and looks a top two chance with a little luck from the second row. She went super last time - I didn’t know how brave she’d be when I saw her caught in the chair but Hayden was very happy with how she went.”
Race 9: Vasari
7.22pm NZ time
“He should get out a lot better this week with Hayden back driving and we’ll be trying to cross the pole marker. The horse is really well and he’ll win one soon. It’s a good line-up but he should run top three.’’
Saturday night at Menangle
Race 7: Lets Strike The Gold
10.22pm NZ time
“This is a difficlut race for him to win and I’ll be driving him quietly from that barrier. It’s been nearly nine months since he raced and he’s going to need a couple of runs to get his race fitness.”