Everything’s just Perfect, says Ray, after super training session for Breeders’ Crown Final
A “super” training run this morning has given trainer Ray Green plenty of confidence that Perfect Stride will be competitive in Saturday night’s A$300,000 Breeders’ Crown Two-year-old Final at Melton.
Driven by host trainer Craig Demmler, Perfect Stride worked over a mile and Green loved the way he ran to the line, happy that he is now perfectly primed for the 2240 metre final.
“Craig thought it was very good work and said he felt like he’d improved with last Saturday’s run,” says Green.
“I’m confident he’ll go well. I couldn’t say I’m overly confident he’ll beat them but all things being fair and equal I think he’ll be right there. He’s certainly ready to go. He looks well.”
Green says only time will tell whether the colt is up to beating Emma Stewart’s powerful team, especially hot favourite Be Happy Mach, drawn on the outside of the second row. But he knows from previous experience just how lucky he was to get the pole position with Perfect Stride.
Two years ago Green lined up the inexperienced King Of Swing in the Breeders’ Crown Final, drew the ace, and led all the way, downing Emma Stewart’s Poster Boy who had to make a big looping run round the field from his second row draw.
Not that Green wants Perfect Stride to lead - his semifinal win last week underlined just how much the colt loafed in front when he was nearly caught on the post.
“Anthony (Butt) will be able to adjust how he drives him. I don’t need to tell him anything - he knows what to do - but I imagine it will just be a question of handing up to the right one.
“I don’t know what will happen in the first 150 metres but plenty will want to lead. That lot are all on-pace runners and they’ll be round pretty quickly. I can’t see them sitting back and coming late.”
In Perfect Stride, Green doesn’t have the big, powerful colt that was King Of Swing.
“He was a much stronger individual but he lacked the speed of this fella. He can really sprint quickly if he gets cover.”
One horse whom he could trail is Zeuss Bromac, who has been the big mover in the market, in from $10 to $4 second favourite, after his late closing third in the semis and drawing gate four.
Green has seen more of Zeuss Bromac than most, given he is trained out of Lincoln Farms’ Pukekohe stable by its No. 1 driver Zachary Butcher, but he is reluctant to make a call on who’s the better horse.
“I wouldn’t single one out, I don’t think there’s much between them to be honest.
“Stride is more professional now, more tractable. There’s nothing wrong with the other guy either other than he lacks a bit of experience.
“It’s just great to get them both here, and trucking.
“All is looking good for them - their draws, their condition. I’m very happy with mine, he’s on top of his game and is really feeling good.”
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Why Lincoln Farms had to buy lot 68 - his older brother Lincoln Lou is ready to rock
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.”