Cambridge best: Larry’s a fast customer and just needed that fresh-up run
With a run under his belt, expect the speedy pacer Larry Lincoln to be hard to beat at Cambridge on Wednesday night.
Lincoln Farms’ three-year-old meets a weaker field than the one he faced last week at Auckland when having his first race for nearly eight months.
And he has drawn perfectly in three, meaning new driver David Butcher should have no trouble finding the early lead.
Zachary Butcher, who is committed to his own horse Whisky Neat on Wednesday, never had to buzz up Larry Lincoln at the start at Alexandra Park, crossing untested from wide on the gate to lead, before taking a trail behind stablemate Man Of Action.
The Sweet Lou colt ran out of condition round the home bend after which Butcher didn’t push him.
Trainer Ray Green said Butcher reported he simply ran out of puff.
“You’d expect him to be right there this time. He’s a very capable horse who has quite a bit of speed.
“He doesn’t need to be gassed out of the gate - he probably burned too much petrol last time - and if he can find a nice trip, he’ll be very potent with his speed.
“They won’t go as fast as at Auckland (stablemate American Dealer clocked 2:43.4 for the 2200 metres) and of course he turned his debut at Cambridge into a demolition job.”
Larry Lincoln was sore and was spelled immediately afterwards, Green giving him plenty of time to get over his soft bones and growing pains.
While Apieceoflou (race three) didn’t flatter on debut at Auckland, when he was slow away then broke in the run home, Green is predicting a much better showing this time.
“He just didn’t know what to do when they kicked at Auckland last week but he’s trained on well since then and I think he’ll go well.”
David Butcher takes over the reins from Andrew Drake.
More news in Harness
Hustler nabbed in the shadows but Al says they’ll know he’s alive in the next two weeks
Fox hits the birdies in England while Franco Nandor plays a top round at Alexandra Park
Great job Al, that’s the Hustler we love - and from two Hayden can put him on the front end
Zachary turns on a masterclass, saving his best for Lincoln Farms’ popular boy Tommy
Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them
Thursday night at Auckland
Race 1: Franco Nandor
“From a decent draw this time he’ll be one of the hardest to beat because it’s not a strong field. He lost a lot of muscle and strength when we gelded him but he should do better from now on.”
Race 4: Larry Lincoln
“He’ll lead easily and he’s good in front so he’s a chance to run a hole. But he can’t burn at both ends so it depends on how the race is run and in these junior drivers’ races they can be quite aggressive.”
Race 6: Louie The Punter
“He’s a big, dumb sort but he goes well enough. If he could be put on the front end on a nice steady rhythm I think we’d see a different horse. He just gets a bit lost and awkward in the field and the stop-start racing confuses him.”
Race 6: Apieceoflou
“Second row draws can be good and if Gopati goes out he’d be right in it. He’s come from way back in all his runs and he got held up in the run home last time. He’s developing into a tidy horse.”
Race 7: Tommy Lincoln
“The wide draw shouldn’t worry him - he’ll just mooch forward. It’s pointless for him to go back, his MO is to get rolling. I thought he was travelling easily at the finish last time.”
Race 7: American Dealer
“He’s a little tradesman who never goes a bad race. He’ll need a bit of luck from the draw but you can be sure he’ll be running on strongly at the finish. He was good here last time.”
Race 9: Copy That
“This is his most serious test. It usually takes the top age group horses two or three runs to find their feet against the tough older ones but he’s exceptional and I expect Maurice will have a dab for the front.”
Race 11: Man Of Action
“He’ll be at the mercy of the ones he’s following out but he’s trained super this week and I think he’s a definite chance. He’s improving all the time.”
Race 12: Captain Nemo
“He’s a lovely big horse who’s also on the up. I think he’ll improve on last time here when he got pulling just when he was going to get a good trip and had to come out.”
Saturday night at Albion Park
Race 3: Northview Hustler
8.14pm NZ time
“He ran some terrific sectionals last week coming from the back. He’s improved through the week and I can’t fault him. After his work his heart rate was down to 91, which is a lot better than it’s been. He’s at his best when it’s in the 80s. He’s a live chance and I think we’ll see a different horse on Saturday night.”