Easier opposition and pole position give Lincoln Farms’ pair claims at Cambridge
Inside barrier draws give both Bet On The Tiger and Argyle solid claims when they meet easier opposition at Cambridge on Thursday night.
Bet On The Tiger, whose best form has been at Cambridge, lines up in the fourth race fresh from a weekend workout win at Pukekohe.
And while trainer Ray Green says there’s a little question mark over the horse’s first try at 2700 metres, he says he should get a perfect trip from the pole in what is not a stellar bunch.
“He should hold up from there but he doesn’t have to lead. He drives nicely in behind and even though there were only three in the workout he didn’t lead there.”
Bet On The Tiger, in the hands of Monika Ranger, came from the trail last Saturday to run down the Telfer-trained Somedreamsomewhere, home in 58.5 and 28.8.
That heat was run left-handed and Green says Bet On The Tiger seems to handle that way of going better than Alexandra Park.
Last start at Auckland, in a much stronger line-up, Bet On The Tiger finished only 3.5 lengths from Executive Banner after copping a check from the winner 100 metres out when fighting gamely.
Argyle had no similar excuses for his run at Auckland last Friday night when he weakened to fifth, 15 lengths from Take The Miki.
But while the horse has been a disappointment, Green still expects a better performance on Thursday.
“He should go well. It is a drop down in class and going left-handed may help.
“It’s not a strong field and drawn one he should get out well enough to hold up. That gives him a chance.”
Green is hoping the trip south of the Bombays may also liven up the gelding who has never been anywhere further than Auckland.
Green isn’t expecting much of Next To Me and says his run in the fifth race will be a learning curve for both horse and trainer.
“I think he’s getting better and it’s his first start since we gelded him so that will help. I don’t think he was concentrating too much as a colt and he was getting a bit stressed. He seems a lot more settled now.
“The seven barrrier isn’t ideal but he’ll get round as best he can. Sometimes the Bettors Delights lift their game on racenight.”
Next To Me ran fourth in his workout last Saturday behind stablemates Simply Sam (first) and Colonel Lincoln (third).
The stable’s fourth runner, Riverman Sam, opens the batting in the first race but Green doesn’t expect him to extend the scorekeeper.
“It’s easier than the first two races he had for us at Auckland but that may not be enough. I won’t be holding my breath.
“He does nothing wrong but doesn’t appear to have a lot of grunt at the finish.”
In his favour, Green said, was the fact Riverman Sam seemed to race best left-handed. The horse won three of his first four starts for Steve and Amanda Telfer, at Cambridge, Auckland and Addington, but has not tested the judge since.
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Our runners this week
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.”