Bundoran does Sir Lincoln proud on debut - but the vultures are already circling

The agents were already circling before Sir Lincoln three-year-old Bundoran made his impressive debut at Ashburton today.

Perth trainer Greg Bond met with co-trainer Jason Lethaby only yesterday to talk turkey over the smart little pacer.

And in a few stylish strides up the passing lane today Bundoran showed why he’s on the radar of so many buyers, reeling in the highly touted favourite Unico Veloce to win going away by one and three-quarter lengths, clocking the fastest last 800 metres of the day of 55.8.

The performance came as no surprise to Lethaby, watching the race from his night shift at the Warehourse distribution centre in Rolleston.

“He did that every easily, but then he’s always done everything pretty easily, and I’m sure when I ask Amber she’ll say he was jogging. She didn’t even turn the stick.

“He’s looked good from the first day we put him in the cart. He’s not very big - he’s compact and strong - but he’s going to grow and I reckon next year will be his year.”

Amber Lethaby … trailed to the turn then exploded up the passing lane with Bundoran.Amber Lethaby … trailed to the turn then exploded up the passing lane with Bundoran.Lethaby paid just $5000 for Bundoran at the Christchurch yearling sales, prepared to take a gamble on “a good looking bugger from a good family.”

He needed some partners to afford it so took in Hornby rugby mates Dave Bennett and Mata Herewini, along with long-time supporter Robert Johnson and his partner.

“Robert’s had shares in the odd one who has won a race or two for us but he’s never had a good one before and I think this one is going to be good.

“When he’s had a bit more experience I wouldn’t be scared to take on the big guns.

“But a few guys are looking at him and, while I’d love to keep him, I’m not a rich man.”

Lethaby says in the short term he’d like to qualify Bundoran for the Southern Supremacy series.

Bundoran is a half brother to Classie Reactor who was bought by leading Melbourne owner Merv Butterworth last year after winning two of his four starts.

He traces back to breeder Mike Stratford’s fast pacer Classiebawn, winner of 10 races.

Before yesterday he had won three of his four trials, including his heat at the cup day trials last week.

Bundoran’s success continues a good start for the husband and wife team who teamed together last year to score 10 wins.

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.