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Blow for Lincoln Farms’ team after Lincoln Falls injures tendon again - career in limbo

The interrupted career of classy galloper Lincoln Falls hangs in the balance again after another tendon injury forced his scratching from Saturday’s Douro Cup at Trentham.

Trainer Lisa Latta was gutted to discover swelling in Lincoln Falls’ near foreleg, the same leg in which a small hole was discovered in his tendon in August, 2019.

“It’s in a different area this time but the hole is bigger,” Latta said.

“I’m not sure what we’re going to do at the moment. The vet’s coming for another look on Monday when we’ll compare it with the original scan.

“The last hole was so small we couldn’t do stem cell treatment on it but with this one we could. We’ll just have to decide whether it’s worth it as they need such a long time off afterwards.”

Latta said the injury was a huge disappointment for everyone who had helped with the horse’s rehab after the last injury, especially as he seemed to be right back to his best.

Lisa Latta … gutted over Lincoln Falls’ second tendon injury.Lisa Latta … gutted over Lincoln Falls’ second tendon injury.The now five-year-old scored an explosive first-up win at Awapuni last month after 20 months away from the racetrack and, after another good fourth, was contesting favouritism for the $40,000 Douro Cup on Saturday.

Bulls horseman Bryce Newman played an integral part in Lincoln Falls’ recovery, following a strict three month rehab programme after his initial confinement to a box and Latta and her staff handled the horse patiently in a long, slow buildup in the months after that.

Latta had been particularly pleased with the horse’s physique in recent months but always tempered her enthusiasm being well experienced in the sometimes cruel outcomes of horses following tendon injuries.

“Horses like this are always day-to-day propositions - the first thing I did every morning was to check his leg - but he was going so well and his final gallop on Thursday morning was really good.”

News of the injury came as a real blow to Lincoln Falls’ majority owners, John and Lynne Street and their partners, Taupo’s Christopher Grace and his Sixforsixty syndicate.

Grace shared his 25% with stepson Jamie Ireton and five of his mates, mostly young plumbers based out of Hamilton, who had not had much luck with a couple of leased horses.

Lincoln Falls looked so exciting when he started trialling that agents offered $1 million for him even before his debut win in September, 2018.

Gelded after over-racing in the New Zealand Derby, his record reads three wins and a second from 10 starts for $65,525 in stakes.

Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

Saturday at Otaki

Race 2: Lincoln Kruz
1.08pm

“He galloped nicely this morning. Nine is a tricky draw but his best runs have been when he is ridden back. Hopefully they run along up front which will give him the chance to finish the race off. He looks fantastic and is well in himself.”

Race 5: Platinum Spirit
2.47pm

“He was disappointing last start but we have had his back done since, which was out, and he has really brightened up over the last 10 days. The top three look the ones to beat but he has raced well at Otaki before and the way he has bounced back I expect him to be very competitive. This race fits in well with the St Leger at Trentham in mid March. Sam O’Malley rides.”

Race 8: Father Lenihan
4.35pm

“He has drawn two and Hazel Schofer has been booked, claiming 2kg down to 60kg. He galloped well yesterday but this morning he was just a little bit off on his near side front and it is in his foot. We are on top of it, poulticing him up, so two days out from the race we hope he’ll get there but a decision won’t be made until race morning.”