Al’s bullish $4 tip very nearly comes unstuck as Larry resents being chased

Trainer Al Barnes’ confident tip that Larry Lincoln was all over a winner at Albion Park tonight proved spot on - but not before the horse gave driver Hayden Barnes quite a fright.

To Lincoln Farms’ owners John and Lynne Street, watching from Auckland, it all seemed to go perfectly to plan. The horse was able to secure the trail without using any petrol and he sprinted too fast for his rivals up the home straight.

But little did they know that for one horrible moment Larry’s driver felt the horse go from “bolting to nothing.”

“The horse was travelling great when Hayden angled to the inside but when he pulled the hood and slapped him on the bum, he didn’t want to go,” said Al Barnes.

“When Hayden chased him he resented it and jammed his tail. He just didn’t sprint like we know he can. He dogged it a little.”

Larry Lincoln scoots up the inside to nail Its Super Easy.Larry Lincoln scoots up the inside to nail Its Super Easy.Luckily the horse Larry Lincoln was chasing was former Lincoln Farms giant Its Super Easy, who obviously couldn’t find the queue when speed was being handed out.

“Its Super Easy doesn’t have speed but he may have more heart than us - he’s tough and just keeps plugging. Who knows, if it had been further than a mile he might have beaten us.”

Barnes says he keeps learning little things about Larry Lincoln, who joined his stable only in September.

“Next time we’ll sit quiet on him. We won’t hit him on the bum and we won’t pull the plugs.

“His heart rate was still high tonight at 100, but it was better than the previous week so he’s improving. We’ll see how he pulls up next week.”

Barnes, who declared the horse a winner after super trackwork during the week, and was surprised by his $4 dividend, says he was convinced Larry was a class better than his rivals tonight.

And while the margin was only a head in the end, because of the home straight hiccup, he believes there’s more in store for the horse.

The plan not to gas Larry out of the gate or drive him too aggressively seemed to have worked, Barnes said.

Larry clocked 2:01.2 for the 1660 metres, a mile rate of 1:57.5, with the closing sectionals in 56.8 and 28.1.

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

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

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.”

Race Images - Harness