Race Images - Gallops

Louie Lincoln gets the judge’s nod at Invercargill with only two heads and a nose separating the first four home.

Amateur hour double brings down the House - but Facebook land followers not copied in

In the space of an hour, Michael House doubled his career winning tally as a thoroughbred trainer, producing Lincoln Farms’ gallopers Louie Lincoln and Benny Lincoln to win at Invercargill.

The Sunday double took House’s gallops tally to four, to go with the 586 winners he has trained in harness racing.

“It was amateur hour,” House said today reflecting on his feat. “But I reckon I have another couple of winners coming up.”

Lincoln Farms’ John and Lynne Street own four of the now eight gallopers in his team, ably overseen by Nicci Brown in Southland, but it’s one who didn’t get off the ballot last Sunday that could be his next winner.

Copy Me In, a Sacred Falls four-year-old owned by Lincoln Farms’ No. 1 harness trainer Ray Green, is the latest newcomer to get the tick of approval from top rider Chris Johnson.

While he is 0 from 6, and doesn’t have the killer skills of Green’s outstanding pacer Copy That, Johnson has told House in recent weeks that Copy Me In gives him a good feel.

“He trialled with five horses after the last race on Sunday and finished hard alongside a race winner.”

Top rider Chris Johnson got Benny Lincoln home to his second win for House on Sunday.Top rider Chris Johnson got Benny Lincoln home to his second win for House on Sunday.It was Johnson’s rare skills that honed Louie Lincoln into a winner in just his first start for House on Sunday.

“It’s been his project horse and he wouldn’t let anyone else ride it for the last month. Nicci kept saying Chris was very upbeat about it and Chris told me to back it.”

That message unfortunately didn’t get to “everybody out there in Facebook land” that House regularly updates on his live streams.

House, apologetic over the $24 dividend, got too busy that morning - looking after his daughter, mowing the lawns, going to the supermarket, cooking a brisket of beef for dinner guests and generally feeling a bit crook.

House believes the spell of a few months which he gave Louie Lincoln when he arrived from the Central Districts might have been the key to his success.

“He might have been a bit weak and sometimes it’s better to start with a fresh canvas.”

The Alamosa five-year-old, whom the Streets bred with Wellfield Lodge’s Bill Gleeson from their mare Jessie Street, had just one start for Lisa Latta after a string of poor trials and was quickly identified as a perfect candidate for the easier opposition in the south.

“I told John after the win I hoped he has more of these. I’m getting a feel for winning.”

Benny Lincoln, who scored easily by three lengths and has now won twice for House, also paid well at $9, thanks to a CWJ special.

“He has to be ridden right. When he jumps you’ve got to let him roll, you can’t fight him and have him pulling.

“In rating 65, he can do it again.”

Getting back to rating 65 grade, and a middle distance, could be all that Master Lincoln needs, too, to get back into the winner’s circle, says House. He ran fourth in a rating 74 mile on Sunday.

Michael House … “I’m just the recipient of a lot of other people’s hard work.”Michael House … “I’m just the recipient of a lot of other people’s hard work.”“I’m learning so much about thoroughbreds - they can tell you so much when they’re worried or upset - but I’m just the recipient of a lot of other people’s hard work, like Nicci and Chris and Tyler (Dewe). I’m just the figurehead.”

House is now checking out this week’s breeze ups with a view to finding a bargain at next month’s New Zealand Bloodstock ready-to-run sale.

He’s not about to switch codes - he’s second on the harness premiership with 87 winners - “But I told every standardbred on the farm today that they’re on notice, all 50 of them.”

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