Ants’ tip: Make Way stands out but on tight Penrith track he’ll still need a little luck
Make Way is clearly the best horse in the field in the last race at Penrith on Thursday night - but he’ll still need a little luck.
Lincoln Farms’ consistent three-year-old starts from the inside of the second row, a tricky place on the turning 804 metre circuit which favours on-pace runners with its short 130 metre home straight.
But top driver Anthony Butt, who prepares the colt with his partner Sonya Smith, is pretty cruisy about how he will drive Make Way.
“On these smaller tracks you like to be in front and it’s tricky when you’re drawn out the back. But it doesn’t worry me much because he’s very adaptable. If they go hard he’s got a great sprint but if they ease up, you’d want to get round.
“The eight-horse field makes it a bit easier and the guys who drive there are all good. They know the form and he’ll get a bit of respect.’’
Make Way earned plenty of respect after this last start win at Goulburn when he worked his way to the lead and reeled off a 1:56.6 track record mile rate for three-year-olds over 2240 metres.
He comes back to 1720 metres on Thursday night and has already shown he is a dab hand at short course events, clocking a 1:52.8 mile at Menangle when fourth two starts back.
Incredibly, as a five-race winner, he stays in the c0 grade on Thursday and meets a mediocre lot which includes one maiden and four horses who have won only one race.
“If he wins this, it will be his last run in maiden grade.’’
Butt says Make Way’s work has been first class since Goulburn.
“He looks magnificent at the moment. His coat is shiny and dappled and he’s really thriving.
“He’s a wee ripper. He’s a bit of a colt around the barn but he’s manageable. We love him - he’s the star of the stable.’’
Make Way is still pencilled in for a trip to Brisbane in July for the Queensland Derby but no decision will be made until closer to the time, says Butt.
“It’s normally not as tough up there but it depends on who’s going.
“We’ll just keep him ticking over and see how he’s going. But you’re only three once and there are other races for him up there as well.’’
More news in Harness
He’s one risky animal but the day Copy That behaves himself we’ll see something special
Goldie’s back - thanks to the countless hours Sonya spends with her old favourite
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.”