Brian Christopher (Al Barnes) in one of his four wins at Redcliffe. PHOTO: Dan Costello.

Al’s B team back after a break so Redcliffe runs on Thursday sure to improve them

Resuming from a break, only 85% fit, and starting from the second row, it would pay not to expect too much from Brian Christopher and Franco Nandor at Redcliffe on Thursday, says trainer Al Barnes.

Lincoln Farms’ B team has enjoyed a month off at Marburg after a busy last campaign and, while both would have benefitted from a trial, Barnes elected to go round for stake money instead.

“They’ll both improve with the runs but they’re forward enough to be competitive. Brian is the more forward - he’s an each way chance in the ninth race - but both could earn a minor cheque.”

Barnes says the pair did a good job in their first campaigns in Queensland, Brian Christopher notching four wins and three placings from 10 starts at Redcliffe and the more unpredictable Franco Nandor a couple of wins and four placings from 13 starts.

“But they needed a break, they were both tapering off in condition which was reflected in their results.

“I gave them a week off and they’ve been back for a few weeks jogging. It just gave them time to muscle up again and, who knows, they may come back and improve.”

Barnes says he’s happy that both horses have drawn the inside of the second row from where they can enjoy nice soft first-up runs without having to do any work.

“I’m not sure what Franco Nandor (race eight) can do fresh-up but he’ll need the run more than the other bloke.

“They’re up in class a bit now so I’ll have to place them where they can be competitive.”

Franco Nandor races at 8.17pm NZ time at Redcliffe on Thursday night.Franco Nandor races at 8.17pm NZ time at Redcliffe on Thursday night.Brian Christopher races at 8.52pm NZ time at Redcliffe on Thursday night.Brian Christopher races at 8.52pm NZ time at Redcliffe on Thursday night.

Our runners this week

Saturday night at Albion Park


Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 2: Frisco Bay

“He obviously needed the run last week. He pulled his way round the field and sat outside the leader but he couldn’t cop a run like that first-up and got tired. The ability is there, whether he’s fit enough or not we’ll find out. But I expect him to go well, the three draw is much better than last week.”

Race 2: Lenny Lincoln

“He’ll probably need a race but he’s capable of running a slot. He’s unlucky not to have won a race, all three of his seconds were good. He’s got a bit better with each of his trials this time in and he got home well last Saturday, after coming widest on the turn.”

Race 3: Obadiah Dragon

“The way the race was run at Cambridge last week, his effort wasn’t bad at all. Moni (Monika Ranger) said he felt strong and, if he’d been a few slots closer, he would have been right in it. He’ll be improved for the run.”

Race 3: Leo Lincoln

“He’s very consistent - he’s only missed a couple of cheques. But he’s another just coming back and should improve with the run.”

Dan Costello Race Photography