Boof-headed Uncle Drew is coming of age for Wendy

Otaki trainer Wendy Devenport only gets to train hand-me-downs but she’s thrilled with how Sir Lincoln gelding Uncle Drew is shaping up.

Uncle Drew, who was bred by Lincoln Farms out of the seven-win mare Feverish, scored his first success at Te Aroha last Saturday, sustaining a big run from well back in the field to claim New Frontier on the line.

The win followed a strong second at Wairarapa on January 2, confirming the horse has come back better as a four-year-old.

Devenport bought Uncle Drew from Pukekohe trainer Rob Lawson for only a couple of thousand dollars last April after he had run two placings from three starts.

“Rob didn’t think much of him - he wasn’t going to be an Auckland horse - and he does knock a knee so that’s why the big wide grass tracks are best for him.

“He was a bit naughty when we first got him - he used to run out the gap and drop his driver. He’s certainly got a mind of his own and can be a bit boisterous but he’s settled in well here now. I’ve got only two other horses and he seems happy in this environment.’’

Devenport says Uncle Drew has done everything right in his second campaign - he’s got a bit stronger and grown a little. “He’s only average size but he’s well built and quite stocky.’’

Devenport says Uncle Drew wouldn’t win any beauty contests as he’s got a big head - but that did nothing but help at Te Aroha when driver David Butcher weaved a path to the inside and powered home to win - by a head.

Devenport has now trained two winners this season after Pure Desire’s Wairarapa success, a welcome change after a drought last season.

And she’s hoping Uncle Drew can add to her tally and make it a season record-equalling three wins when he races at her local two day-meeting at Otaki at the beginning of February.

“I might put him round Manawatu in February after that to keep him fit - he’s run three placings there - and then there’s the Taranaki grass meeting at the end of the month.’’

Race Images - Gallops

Sir Lincoln Top 10

Did you know…

1. CUP DAY BIRTH: It was preordained Sir Lincoln would be a headliner when he was born just hours before the 2006 New Zealand Trotting Cup at Addington. Three years later to the day, and almost the hour, he annihilated his rivals on the same course in the Sires’ Stakes Final.

2. AGE NO BARRIER: In his second last race start, at the age of six, Sir Lincoln paced the fastest 1700 metres in New Zealand history, 2:00.5, beating Gold Ace and clocking a mile rate of 1:54 at Alexandra Park. Champion pacer Elsu held the previous record at 2:01.1.

3. ON THREE LEGS: Sir Lincoln ran his last race virtually on three legs, when second to Terror To Love in an Interdominion heat at Auckland. He had to be pulled out of the Melbourne series, and retired, when found to have a subluxated pastern joint - basically his ankle joint was dislocated.

4. SWIFT GOLDEN MILE: Sir Lincoln’s fastest mile was recorded in the 2012 Group III Golden Mile at Menangle in Sydney when he was nosed out by Captain Joy in 1:51.4. He was known by the name Lincoln Royal in Australia.

5. AT THE REINS: One for the trivia fans - how many drivers did Sir Lincoln have in his 57-start career? Maurice McKendry was Linc’s pilot throughout his career but he was MIA four times when the horse was handled by James Stormont, Ken Barron and Blake Fitzpatrick (twice).

6. WINNERS KEEP COMING: In only his third season with runners on the track, Sir Lincoln has already sired the winners of 30 races despite having limited numbers to represent him. Last season in New Zealand alone he had 16 winners from only 39 starters and this term he already has six winners from just 18 starters.

7. SOMEBEACH SOME RAP: Breeding buffs made a beeline for Sir Lincoln after superstar racehorse and stallion Somebeachsomewhere had to be put down with cancer. Sir Lincoln is 7/8th bred on the same cross as Somebeachsomewhere - by Mach Three out of a Beach Towel mare who is in turn out of a Cam Fella mare.

8. DISCOUNT FOR LOYALTY: Broodmare owners are returning to Sir Lincoln in droves. Taken by the attractive foals he is leaving, many book straight back to the Alabar-based sire and take advantage of Lincoln Farms’ loyalty scheme which cuts his service fee in half to just $1250 plus GST.

9. TIME BEST FRIEND: Sir Lincoln’s progeny are mirroring the sire’s own start on the racetrack, benefitting from a little time to mature. The best the horse himself could manage as a two-year-old was one third from four starts but he was a different animal at three, winning four of his first five starts.

10. MEGASTAR’S FREAK DEATH: A freak accident claimed the life of valuable broodmare Lincoln’s Megastar, a full sister to Sir Lincoln. The mare, who opened her career with a nine and a half length walloping at Auckland, was retired after six wins, but left only one foal. She was killed when crushed by a fallen tree in a violent storm. Woodlands Stud has another full sister in two-year-old Moonlighting who is in training with Ray Green.