Zachary Butcher is sitting still as Sugar Apple cruises to the line at Cambridge. PHOTO: Chanelle Lawson.

Easy as pie for Sugar Apple, but first-time owner was too busy in the kitchen to watch

The one person most excited about Sugar Apple’s win at Cambridge on Thursday night missed seeing the race.

Matt Hooper, restaurant manager at Lone Star Alexandra Park, was too busy working to see the hollow win, his very first as an owner.

But the good news was relayed to him by Lone Star owner Trevor Casey, in whose colours the horse raced, and who scored his first winner in a Lincoln Farms’ partnership.

“Matt was very excited after watching a replay of the race,” Casey said. “The horse was far too good.”

Trevor Casey … Sugar Apple was his first winner with Lincoln Farms.Trevor Casey … Sugar Apple was his first winner with Lincoln Farms.Casey has shares in three Lincoln Farms’ youngsters, including Thursday’s Cambridge runner-up Nirvana Franco, and Next To Me, an unraced brother to his former tough pacer Maxim.

Sugar Apple, a half brother to Lincoln Farms’ Queensland Derby winner American Dealer, was never out of third gear in his win, Zachary Butcher sitting still in the cart as he cruised to a one and a half length win in a moderate 2:44.3.

From the moment Butcher took the Sweet Lou colt to the front, the result was never in doubt, said trainer Ray Green.

“It was a glorified workout for him,” said Green of Sugar Apple who only had to run 57.7 and 28.2 for his closing sectionals.

“Zac said he was never going to get beaten.”

Also in the Sugar Apple partnership with Lincoln Farms’ owners John and Lynne Street are the familiar names of American Dealer’s owners Gordon Banks and Marc Hanover, Grant Dickey, Duncan Chisholm’s Chisso’s & Wack Syndicate, Ian Kedzlie and Canterbury’s Green Machine syndicate.

Earlier in the night Nirvana Franco ran a debut second, momentarily looking the winner when she took the passing lane in the run home, before being swamped by Tony Herlihy’s debutante A Little Side Hustle.

“She was very green,” Green said. “Zac said she didn’t really know what was going on.

“It will help her that she didn’t win. She has a lot to learn and it would have been too tough for her in the next grade.”

Our runners this week

Saturday night at Albion Park


Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

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.”

Whales Harness