Billy Lincoln showing the family ability but debut on Friday no cakewalk from niggly draw
Billy Lincoln ($7, $2.50) has a lot to live up to when he debuts at Te Aroha on Friday.
The Belardo three-year-old is the third foal out of Lincoln Farms’ fine broodmare Princess Maryanne and follows Lincoln Rocks, sold for big money to Australia in May, and Lincoln Lady who has won four of her five starts for trainer Stephen Marsh.
Stable foreman Rhys Mildon says the ability obviously runs in the family as Billy Lincoln is a lovely horse who is expected to be competitive tomorrow despite a niggly draw in the seventh race.
“He’s a lot more forward than Lincoln Lady was - she didn’t race until winter.”
Scratched from New Plymouth last Friday because of a wide draw, Billy Lincoln goes into the 1180 metre race a last-start trial winner at Matamata when he was hunted up to lead from the outside gate and scored by half a length.
His time of 1:01.41 for the 1000 metres was the third fastest of the seven maiden heats and less than two tenths of a second slower than the fastest of the open heats.
That trial was run in soft 7 conditions, the same as reported at Te Aroha today, an improvement on the heavy 10 rating earlier in the week after 85mm of rain fell in just 24 hours and 130mm in the last week.
With some rain forecast on race morning the track could deteriorate again and, while Billy Lincoln is expected to handle it, Mildon says in the long run he’ll be a better track horse.
“But he wouldn’t be going round if Stephen didn’t think he had a chance.”
With five wide runners already scratched and today’s Wanganui winner Aquilifer also set to come out, Billy Lincoln looks set to come in a couple of gates to nine in a 12-horse field.
“There’s a good run down the back at Te Aroha and, even though these midweek maidens are hard, he should be thereabouts. And he’s a winning chance if everything goes his way. I think there’ll be a lot of form out of the race.”
Among the most prominent of the many trial performers in the field is the Te Akau filly Vivacious, winner of two trials and the Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained I’munstoppable, who is unbeaten in three trials.
Billy Lincoln, who is raced by Lincoln Farms’ owners John and Lynne Street and their business manager Ian Middleton, will be ridden by Courtney Barnes.
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Wednesday at Hastings