Hayden Barnes had to nurse Bondi Shake during his first win two weeks ago. PHOTO: Dan Costello.

Al’s warning on Bondi Shake at Albion Park tonight - he’s a victim of poor programming

Bondi Shake might have looked good winning his Queensland debut but he will find it very hard to repeat the feat at Albion Park tonight.

Even though he has drawn nicely in three, Lincoln Farms’ newest arrival faces a field of older and much more seasoned pacers in the seventh race at 6.22pm NZ time.

And trainer Al Barnes is not happy that he has to even run the horse in such an unsuitable race, also stepping up from 1660 metres to 2138 metres.

“It’s a hard field and a major step-up in grade for him. But there’s nothing else programmed for a one win two-year-old and I’ll be lucky to find even one race that suits him before the end of the year.

“The only other two-year-old races are $25,000 features were they’ll go 1:53 and he’s not ready to do that.”

Barnes had been hoping to put together a three or four race winning streak with Bondi Shake who, under a Covid-19 season extension, can compete in two-year-old races until the end of the year, even though he is officially three in New Zealand.

“Two months ago there were plenty of races but all the handicappers here seem to want to do now is put on maiden races to help people win their bonuses.” Qbred paid-up horses earn a A$10,000 bonus for winning their first race.

“I can’t be the only one with a one win two-year-old. I’ve spoken to them about it but it’s fallen on deaf ears.

“They’ll put races on at Redcliffe where you race for no (low) money but not at Albion Park, the premier track.”

Barnes says while Bondi Shake appeared to win his first race two weeks ago untested, after a tough run, three wide to the death seat, he is still very much a work in progress.

“He’s green and we have to cuddle him. Hayden had to nurse home out of the gate and through the run last time. We can’t turn the stick and cut him loose yet and these are seasoned horses who can run 1:54 or 1:55 comfortably.

“This will be a fitness run for him.”

Man Of Action, back from a brief freshener, has drawn the second row in the eighth race at 7.03pm NZ time but Barnes isn’t too worried about that.

“It’s a nice race for him. He might be buried three deep on the fence but that’s not a bad thing - he will be strong home.

“If he’d had a draw and could have sat behind the leader he’d have been a good thing but he’ll need a bit of luck from the second row.

“He’s still a top three chance but he can win it if he gets luck. It’s a very even bunch but he’s the up-and-comer in the race. He has a bit of upside to him.”

Bondi Shake races at 6.22pm NZ time at Albion Park on Tuesday night.Bondi Shake races at 6.22pm NZ time at Albion Park on Tuesday night.Man Of Action races at 7.03pm NZ time at Albion Park on Tuesday night.Man Of Action races at 7.03pm NZ time at Albion Park on Tuesday night.

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 1: Obadiah Dragon

“He’s the lowest rated in the field, so it will be tough for him, but he’s racing really well. He just doesn’t need any bad luck.”

Race 4: Lincoln La Moose

“You won’t see the best of him on Friday. It’s his first race since April and he’ll definitely need the run.”

Race 6: My Copy

“He’s no champion but he’s very honest and is always capable of finishing in the money. He only needs a fair crack at them.”

Race 7: Tyson

“You can forget about that debut run, it was a non-event for him the way the race panned out. He got way too far back and would need to have clocked ridiculous times to get into it. He has speed and feels like a nice horse but he’s very inexperienced. I wouldn’t expect him to round the others up but he won’t be disgraced.”

Race 7: Lincoln Lou

Update: Scratched on vet’s advice

“He’s a very nice colt. He’s a lot stronger this time in and he could develop into a serious horse. If he repeats his last run, he’ll be hard to beat. I think he might have the wood on Sugar Ray. He has better manners and probably a bit more speed too.”

Race 7: Sugar Ray Lincoln

“He won comfortably last time despite being three wide for much of the last lap and four wide turning for home. He’s a very good colt. There’s not much between him and Lincoln Lou.”

Race 9: Commander Lincoln

“He’s as honest as they come, he’d die for you, but he lacks a yard of sharp speed to be a serious horse. He has a draw upgrade and drops in class but things have to pan out for him.”

Mark Dux

Mark Dux’s comments

Friday night at Albion Park

Race 8: Captain Nemo
6.33pm NZ time

“It’s not an easy race and, from an average draw, we’ll drive him quietly again so he’ll be at the mercy of the tempo. If he gets the right trip, I could see him hitting the line well and sneaking into the money but after this run to tighten him up he’ll be all set to go, close to winning.”

Les Harding

Les Harding

Saturday night at Port Pirie

Race 5: Beaudiene Rocknroll
10.02pm NZ time

“I’m very happy with him and confident he’ll run a top race but it’s hard to predict how he’ll measure up given this is a big step-up in class compared with the horses he has raced against for his last two wins.”

Dan Costello Race Photography