Argyle (Angus Garrard) has the opposition well covered at Albion Park on Saturday night.

Argyle salutes at last and Mark confident he’ll keep the till ticking over in the next grade

Trainer Mark Dux is confident Argyle will remain competitive in the next grade despite taking five months to break his winning duck at Albion Park on Saturday night.

The five-year-old notched the seventh win of his career, but only his second in Brisbane since joining Dux when young gun Angus Garrard blasted him out of the trail turning for home and “put the field away in two hops.”

And while it was 14 starts since his last win, his consistency in having placed in eight of those points to his still being competitive now that he has advanced to band 5 and a rating 80, says Dux.

“He’s not the best horse Lincoln Farms has owned but he’s good and consistent in the right grade. He’s a good, honest horse and if you’ve got to drive him stronger, you can. He’ll keep placing and making money.”

Dux said it was crucial that horses picked up plenty of place money between wins - Argyle’s record now reads seven wins and 15 placings for A$89,343 in stakes.

“You don’t make enough money going bang, bang, bang. All of a sudden you’re in free-for-all grade and you’re not good enough to win any money.

“Who knows, with the right trip he might go bang again in his next start but you always know he’ll go out and race well, he’s never far off.

“He’s done a good job in that grade and he’ll be good in the next class too.”

Dux said after pole runner Mighty George held the lead tonight, allowing Argyle to trail to the turn, it always looked to be his race.

“He had to burn really hard early - they went a 26.7 quarter - and even though they went a bit slow down the back that helped the leader get us to the corner.”

Angus Garrard … has a clear lead in the state premiership. PHOTO: Dan Costello.Angus Garrard … has a clear lead in the state premiership. PHOTO: Dan Costello.Garrard aggressive

Garrard, in a typically aggressive drive, didn’t wait for the sprint lane, pushing out into the clear instead.

“Angus said as soon as he pulled out it was all over.”

And while the winning margin was only 2.4 metres, Dux said that was only because Argyle was up to his old tricks of taking his foot off the pedal once he hit the front.

“He chases well but once in front he kind of thinks it’s all over and lets the other ones get up to him.”

Garrard, wise to Argyle’s quirks, kept the favourite going to register his 45th win after only two months of the 2024 season, giving him a 14-win buffer over Nathan Dawson in the state premiership.

With three wins tonight, Garrard (20) has now won 726 races, a remarkable achievement in a short career.

“Angus goes to every meeting he can. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cheap meeting at Redcliffe on a Monday night he’ll go. He’d like 10 drives every night.”

Lincoln Farms’ owners John and Lynne Street race the Bettor’s Delight gelding with David Turner, Barry and Marie Jones and the Friday Frenzy Racing syndicate, comprising Lincoln Farms’ business manager Ian Middleton, former Sylvia Park PAK’nSAVE owner Peter Jeffares, former All Black Bernie McCahill, Harcourts Wellington’s Mike Ledger and PAK’nSAVE ’s Glen Innes boss Rob Redwood.

The Friday Frenzy team bid $26,000 for 20% of Argyle when John Street offered the share to raise money for the Stroke Foundation at a charity auction in November, 2020.

Argyle’s win capped a great day for the Streets after their gallopers Lincoln Falls and Platinum Attack both scored at Otaki.

Our runners this week

Saturday night at Albion Park

Captain Nemo.

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Thursday night at Cambridge

Race 1: Major Achievement

“It’s his first race for a while and he hasn’t been setting the world on fire at the workouts. But he’s been racing better animals and this isn’t a stellar bunch. He’s a chance if things go his way. I’ve given Mathew Salaivao the drive.”

Race 1: Commander Lincoln

“He’s an average horse but the last time he raced here in amateur company he all but won. He’ll need luck from the second row but, while I couldn’t label him, he’s a runner’s chance.”

Race 5: Onyx Shard

“She got a bit sick for a while with a virus and I had to back off her. She seems over that now but I’m picking she’ll need a race. This will be like a glorified trial for her.”

Race 8: My Copy

“He came to the end of it so I gave him a little freshen-up and he seems in good shape again. It will be interesting to see how he goes fresh - he may need a race but he’ll appreciate the step-down in class. I’m running him here so he doesn’t come up against any bear cats first-up.”

Race 9: Lincoln Cove

“Hopefully he’s getting better but you’ve just got to take him on trust. He has ability but the desire has been sadly lacking. Zac will have to sit quietly on him as he broke when given only one tap with the stick last time. The small field will suit him as he won’t be too far off them. If he doesn’t make any mistakes, he’ll give them a fright.”

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 3: Leo Lincoln

“Maurice said he would have finished a lot closer last time than sixth (fourth or even third) had he not locked wheels at the 100. That took all his momentum away. He’s been holding his form well and he gets out well enough to use the inside draw. He’s a chance to get some of the money.”

Race 5: Sugar Ray Lincoln

“He did have marks on his boot after his last run and trying a spreader on him has helped. But he’s a real baby. He has real ability but he’s still developing mentally and physically and we’re still finding our way with him.”

Race 5: Lincoln Lou

“He’s racing well but he’ll find it tough from the outside draw.”

Race 6: Debbie Lincoln

“I can’t see her improving enough to give the Purdon/Phelan trio a fright. She can go (fast) enough but still has a lot to learn. The main thing for her is getting round safely. She’s put two in a row now so hopefully she’ll start improving.”

Race 10: Lincoln La Moose

“He had an excuse last time - he got wiped out on the first corner and that was the end of his race. I like him, he’s a nice horse, just not quite as experienced as Frisco Bay.”

Race 10: Frisco Bay

“I lean towards Frisky as the better chance of our two. You can’t fault what he did the other night at Cambridge, and he seems to be on the improve. He’s more reliable than Lincoln La Moose.”

Dan Costello Race Photography