Billy’s shows he’s getting there with gutsy win and Tiger can too but he’s in for the unkind cut

Billy Lincoln showed he was turning into a racehorse with a gutsy win at Albion Park today but trainer Al Barnes reckons Sir Tiger might need a major ‘gear’ change after he could finish only second.

“Billy certainly showed a bit of heart today,” said Barnes after the Bettor’s Delight three-year-old was headed early in the run home but fought back courageously to claim a half head win over Gold Reactor.

The Barnes boys fight it out with Hayden on Billy Lincoln outgunning Brendan on Gold Reactor.The Barnes boys fight it out with Hayden on Billy Lincoln outgunning Brendan on Gold Reactor.It was an all Barnes’ affair with one son Hayden driving vigorously on Billy Lincoln and the other, Brendan, giving Gold Reactor everything in the drive to the line.

“Billy is learning, one minute Hayden said he thought the horse was cruising, then he had to knuckle down and he tried really hard. Up ’til now he’s got a bit lost and not shown much fight.”

That said, today’s win took the gelding’s record to three wins and a close second from only four starts, a great start to his Queensland career.

After taking up an early one-one trail, Barnes wasted no time in zooming round to lead at the bell, showing tactical speed which his trainer says will stand him in good stead in the future. He nipped home in 56.8 and 28.1 to record a mile rate of 1:55.5 for the 1660 metres.

“You’ve got to go to the front when you can in these races but now I want to try him from behind. I think he’ll show more high speed and be a bit stronger driving him with a sit. He seems to try harder when he’s chasing.”

Sir Tiger goes down as a $1.40 favourite to Laughing Emoji who stole a march at the 400.Sir Tiger goes down as a $1.40 favourite to Laughing Emoji who stole a march at the 400.Barnes is keen to get Sir Tiger trying harder too, not that he was disgraced today, chasing after Laughing Emoji who stole a march on the home turn, and getting within 4.7 metres at the post.

“I was happy enough with the way he went. They got home in 55.6 and 27.8 and there’s nothing wrong with a three-year-old running those sectionals. The leader also had a good trip and we did all the chasing.

“He also pulled up a bit big, so he needed it, and they clocked 1:54.3.

“But he’s doing a few things wrong and I want to geld him, I think it will make him a completely different horse and get him concentrating.

“They’re shutting down Albion Park for two or three weeks while they resurface it, and racing at Redcliffe, so now’s a good time to do it.”

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Cambridge

Race 3: Lincoln Lou

“He’s a beautiful little horse and I’m looking forward to seeing him run. It’s hard to know how good he is, or how far he’ll go, but I guess we’ll find out on Friday. He’s the one to beat from the draw. If he doesn’t win, he won’t be far away.”

Race 5: Commander Lincoln

“I won’t be holding my breath. He tries hard enough but he lacks a bit of high speed.”

Race 8: Onyx Shard

“It’s two and a half months since she last raced, and she didn’t grow as much as I thought she would, but I’m expecting her to go a good race. Her last two trials have been good and she’s pulled up well.”

Race 8: Obadiah Dragon

“He’ll need a good trip from five but he’s not out of it. He went a good race last time at Cambridge and would be as equal a chance as Onxy Shard.”

Race 8: Beaudiene Rocknroll

“It’s heart-in-the-mouth stuff with him until they let them go but he should step away this time. Zac (Butcher) said the gate went particularly slowly before that race and that’s why he got impatient. I thought he did well to recover for third. If he made the front, where he goes best, he’d be hard to beat.”

Race 9: Frisco Bay

“He’s a tidy horse and I’m expecting a big run. We’ve sorted the problem he had with his breathing last season and he’s right in the zone now after a second and a win at the workouts.”

Mark Dux

Mark Dux’s comments

Saturday night at Albion Park

Race 5: Argyle
11.02pm NZ time

“It wouldn’t have mattered where he drew this week, he’s in the money, barring bad luck. He’s going terrific and he gets in so well at the ratings.”

Race Images - Harness