Draw gives Line Up the edge in Lincoln Farms’ four-pronged assault on the Sires Stakes
Trainer Ray Green, like the TAB bookies, believes Line Up’s perfect draw makes him the one to beat in Friday night’s Sires’ Stakes heat at Alexandra Park.
In an early market for the second and final Sires’ Stakes heat in the north, Line Up has opened the $2.60 favourite, with Mighty Looee second favourite at $3 ahead of Green’s Copy That and Barry Purdon’s Bad To The Bone on $5.
Green’s two other runners, Double Or Nothing and Tommy Lincoln, are not fancied at $26.
Green has decided to start all four of his entries, happy that Tommy Lincoln, while not 100% fit yet, deserves his shot and Copy That has improved this week after a disappointing Saturday workout.
“Copy That is fine. I see no reason not to start him. His fast work yesterday was very good, he ran a mile in 2:04 and he and Line Up finished it off nicely together.
“I know Zac was bemoaning Copy That’s performance at the workouts but he seems quite a bit better now and he needs the race to get fit for Christchurch.”
Copy That and Line Up have already qualified for the $170,000 Sires’ Stakes Final on cup day at Addington, November 12.
With Zachary Butcher opting to drive Bad To The Bone, Green has reached for master reinsman Tony Herlihy for Copy That, who will have to overcome the outside gate of eight, no easy task over only a mile.
And that’s primarily why Green favours Line Up, who has shown he has the gate speed to make the most of his barrier two for David Butcher.
“I don’t think there’s anything between the two but I’m very happy with Line Up, he’s looking really good, and coming to his peak at the right time.”
Line Up was well below his best when second at his last start to Copy That, only just making the start line for the first Sires’ Stakes heat at Cambridge after a foot abscess threatened to derail him.
He will be very potent on Friday, leading over a mile.
Green doesn’t believe Double Or Nothing will be disgraced even though he’s stepping up in company.
“Ability wise he’s there, he just hasn’t been strong enough, but you can’t fault what he’s done in his last two starts. He’s worthy of being in the field and is an improver.
“Tommy Lincoln should need the run but he’s pretty rugged, better than I thought he was, and another worthy of taking his place.
“Nothing really stands out and it’s going to be a very tactical race.”
Pair will need lots of luck
Under the preferential barrier draw, Green’s seventh race runners The Empress and Bettor My Dreamz were always going to draw badly but from three and four on the second row they will need plenty of luck to feature over a mile.
“I’m very happy with The Empress, she’s really in the zone at the moment, and from a fitness perspective she’s in better shape than Bettor My Dreamz.
“If she can get any sort of crack at them she’ll be right there.
“The probabilities are against Bettor My Dreamz from out there but it’s horse racing and anything can happen.
“If they get lucky they can certainly get some money.”
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Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them
Friday night at Cambridge
Race 3: Lincoln Lou
“He’s a beautiful little horse and I’m looking forward to seeing him run. It’s hard to know how good he is, or how far he’ll go, but I guess we’ll find out on Friday. He’s the one to beat from the draw. If he doesn’t win, he won’t be far away.”
Race 5: Commander Lincoln
“I won’t be holding my breath. He tries hard enough but he lacks a bit of high speed.”
Race 8: Onyx Shard
“It’s two and a half months since she last raced, and she didn’t grow as much as I thought she would, but I’m expecting her to go a good race. Her last two trials have been good and she’s pulled up well.”
Race 8: Obadiah Dragon
“He’ll need a good trip from five but he’s not out of it. He went a good race last time at Cambridge and would be as equal a chance as Onxy Shard.”
Race 8: Beaudiene Rocknroll
“It’s heart-in-the-mouth stuff with him until they let them go but he should step away this time. Zac (Butcher) said the gate went particularly slowly before that race and that’s why he got impatient. I thought he did well to recover for third. If he made the front, where he goes best, he’d be hard to beat.”
Race 9: Frisco Bay
“He’s a tidy horse and I’m expecting a big run. We’ve sorted the problem he had with his breathing last season and he’s right in the zone now after a second and a win at the workouts.”
Mark Dux’s comments
Saturday night at Albion Park
Race 5: Argyle
11.02pm NZ time
“It wouldn’t have mattered where he drew this week, he’s in the money, barring bad luck. He’s going terrific and he gets in so well at the ratings.”