Book closes on Lincoln’s Command with only the first few unlucky chapters played out
Hopes that Lincoln’s Command would make his mark as a stayer in Australia have been dashed with a recurrence of his old injury and he will now be retired.
Randwick trainer John Sargent had been preparing Lincoln’s Command to open his account this weekend after a trouble-free few weeks in Sydney.
But the horse went sore on Tuesday and scans and an ultrasound revealed he has gone in the same area of his stifle as last time.
“We’d been taking him along quietly and he’d been galloping extra well, so it’s a real shame,’’ says Sargent.
“You could spend $4000 operating but with no guarantee you’d fix the problem. It would be 50-50 or 60-40 against then he’d be out for another year with all the ongoing costs.
“I’ve had a few of these injuries and you just wouldn’t carry on, especially as he’s a rising six-year-old.
“He’s a lovely horse and I’m sure we can find a good home for him.”
The injury brings to a close a luckless career for Lincoln’s Command who promised so much for Lincoln Farms’ trainer Lisa Latta with his looks and pedigree.
Bought for $240,000 at the 2015 ready to run sale of two-year-olds, when he was the seventh highest priced lot, Lincoln’s Command quickly ran into trouble, diagnosed with a cyst in his stifle.
When surgeons operated on him they used a relatively new technique, inserting a transcondylar screw to stimulate the bone to heal and fill in the cyst.
But while the procedure avoided disruption of the joint surface, it aggravated the horse’s lameness and eventually a second operation had to be done to remove the screw.
“He must have been out for a good 18 months,” says Latta. “And it took a long time to get him back.’’
Latta always fancied Lincoln’s Command would fashion into a good stayer - by Pentire out of a Zabeel mare in Zambezi, his full brother Zambezi Warrior was a very talented stayer for Te Akau in 2017.
And he is from a family of big winners, his grand dam Tall Poppy won 11 races and great grand dam Fun On The Run won 18 races.
Lincoln’s Command looked ready to finally fulfil that potential when he scored first-up for four months at Awapuni on May 30, powering home late in heavy ground over 1550 metres, which was thought to be too short for him.
It proved to be a winning swansong.
Sargent is hoping stablemate Lincoln Sky can soften the blow for Lincoln Farms’ owners John and Lynne Street.
The three-year-old will trial at Randwick on Friday with Sargent reporting he looks “as strong as an ox.”
“He’s been piling on the beef and is really enjoying life here. He should be ready to race after his trial and we’ll probably go 1400 metres, 1600 metres then step up to 2000 and see how we go.”
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It’s all systems go for Lincoln’s Command after tidy Randwick trial
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Thursday at Hastings
Race 6: Lincoln Town
“He’s drawn the outside but with the rail out 10 metres they’re only starting twelve horses and he has the gate speed to go forward so this will negate the draw. He worked nicely this morning and has continued to hold his condition well. I expect him to be right in the finish.”
Race 8: Ajay Lincoln
“He has a nice draw and the step-up to 1650 metres will suit. The track has come up a slow 8 and hopefully it will stay in that range as he will appreciate that better than the heavy ground he struck at Awapuni. He is finally starting to do things right and seems a lot more switched on. I’m expecting a better run from him.”
Saturday at New Plymouth
Race 1: Manhattan Street
“There’s a lot of rain in the forecast so the track should be very wet and loose track which is what he wants. We’re trying to get some miles into him so we can eventually run him in a hurdle. There are a couple of smart types in the race in My Gift and Obsessive but I’m expecting a better run from him.”
Race 6: Platinum Rapper
“She needed the run at Awapuni last time and her work has been very good since. We decided on going for the cup as she gets in on the minimum and it’s another chance to get black type with her. When she met Rosewood at weight-for-age at Wanganui there was a 1.5kg difference but she gets 5.5kg this time. We know from the Wanganui run that she is up to this company and, while this field is slightly stronger, I feel she can be right in the finish. The track conditions will suit her.”