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Lincoln Falls is seven wide coming round the home turn, with all four placegetters close in on the speed.

Don’t rule out Lincoln Falls in the Derby - he just needs his turn in a decent barrier

With a good draw and a cosy run Lincoln Falls can be right in the finish of next month’s $1million New Zealand Derby.

The Dundeel colt may have finished only fifth in Saturday’s Waikato Guineas but if you examine his run closely you wouldn’t be writing him off as a $21 chance like the TAB bookies.

Mathematically Lincoln Falls had no chance at Te Rapa after his wide draw saw him last early.

While the first four home, Sponge Bob, Arrogant, Sword In Stone and The Chosen One were getting sweet trips in the first five all the way, Johnathan Parkes was forced to cover the world to get into the race.

Parkes started a long run 1100 metres out, and from the 600 he was flushed four, five and six wide turning in.

The colt was timed over his last 600 metres in 34.7, almost exactly the same time clocked by the second, third and fourth horses who were close to the rails - Arrogant 34.67, Sword In Stone 34.63 and The Chosen One 34.66.

To get within 4.9 lengths of the winner was a very good effort given he gave away at least that ground coursing so wide and the first four round the home turn were the first four home.

While Lincoln Falls still slugged it out, pipping stablemate Lincoln Sky a nose, Parkes acknowledged he wilted close to the line.

Lincoln Falls with trainer Lisa Latta on Saturday, nails and hood in matching stable purple.Lincoln Falls with trainer Lisa Latta on Saturday, nails and hood in matching stable purple.“But he was entitled to as I had to ask him to make his run much too early and he was flushed very wide.’’

The run confirmed trainer Lisa Latta’s suspicion that while Lincoln Falls has a devastating sprint, it is a short one of about 200 metres.

“To get the derby distance (2400 metres) we need a good draw and a cosy run, closer to the speed.’’

Lincoln Falls won’t race again before the derby on March 2, while stablemate Platinum Invador will have his final lead-up in next week’s Avondale Guineas at Ellerslie.

Lincoln Sky is not nominated for the derby and will instead concentrate on good stakes at Awapuni and Trentham next month.

Lincoln Sky gained a solid pass mark yesterday from rider Jonathan Riddell.

“I got pushed down to the inside and got stuck in there but he went well and he’s going to be all right.’’

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

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.”

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

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.”