Consistent Apieceoflou drawn to score at Alexandra Park on Friday night
Back to a good front row draw, Apieceoflou looks the best of Lincoln Farms’ chances at Auckland on Friday night.
The consistent three-year-old will leave from four on the gate, compared with stablemate Franco Nandor’s outside alley, from where he should land a sweet trip.
“If he gets a good trip, he’s the one to beat,” says trainer Ray Green who was taken by the way the horse fought well for second last week after being parked for the last 1150 metres.
“Being hung out didn’t help but he still whacked away. He’s not as strong as he will be but he’s as honest as can be.”
Apieceoflou hasn’t finished further back than fourth in three starts since he capitalised on a perfect trail to bag his first win, downing the in-form Luke John in a 1:56 mile rate for 1700 metres.
As expected, Franco Nandor needed the run last week when resuming from a three and a half month break.
The Mach Three gelding showed zip for a couple of hundred metres when driver Zachary Butcher came out three wide at the 400 but he was done with 150 metres from home, only battling into seventh.
“He raced up like he was going to beat them but you have to forgive him as he hadn’t raced for a while.”
Andre Poutama takes the reins on Friday night with Butcher behind the Purdon-Phelan-trained Raven Banner.
Tommy Lincoln has only three rivals in the opening race, a rating 67 to 104 affair that favours the highest ranked On The Cards.
But Green is predicting the horse will go another good race after his recent front-running win over Star Galleria.
Tommy Lincoln had to do some work to reach the lead last time, after starting from the second row, and was nailed only by the horse who sat on his back, Callie’s Delight, in a swift 2:40.1 for the 2200 metres.
“They went fast and he was drilled down the back so he did well to hang on for second.”
On Friday night, from two, Tommy should cross straight to the front and adopt his favoured front-running role.
“On The Cards might have a dab for the front but it doesn’t matter if he presses the issue, Tommy can follow speed just as easily.”
On The Cards is sure to start a hot favourite after his last-start second to Vintage Cheddar in the Junior Free-for-all at Addington.
Revitalise’s form might look woeful in the fourth race, for junior drivers, but don’t be surprised to see him spring right back into form, says Green.
“He’s training super, he’s as sound as can be, and I’m very happy with him.”
Revitalise’s recent efforts have been blighted by a foot abscess, which developed into a quarter crack and required minor surgery.
“He was in a bit of strife for a couple of weeks but we’ve done a fair bit with the foot, we’ve swum him for the last week, and he’s trained on beautifully.
“We’ve got a good young fella in Zev Meredith driving him too.”
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Saturday night at Albion Park
Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them
Friday night at Auckland
Race 2: Frisco Bay
“He obviously needed the run last week. He pulled his way round the field and sat outside the leader but he couldn’t cop a run like that first-up and got tired. The ability is there, whether he’s fit enough or not we’ll find out. But I expect him to go well, the three draw is much better than last week.”
Race 2: Lenny Lincoln
“He’ll probably need a race but he’s capable of running a slot. He’s unlucky not to have won a race, all three of his seconds were good. He’s got a bit better with each of his trials this time in and he got home well last Saturday, after coming widest on the turn.”
Race 3: Obadiah Dragon
“The way the race was run at Cambridge last week, his effort wasn’t bad at all. Moni (Monika Ranger) said he felt strong and, if he’d been a few slots closer, he would have been right in it. He’ll be improved for the run.”
Race 3: Leo Lincoln
“He’s very consistent - he’s only missed a couple of cheques. But he’s another just coming back and should improve with the run.”