Exciting Falls and Raider both earmarked for Ellerslie on Boxing Day
Gun Lincoln Farms gallopers Lincoln Falls and Lincoln Raider will both be seen next at Ellerslie on Boxing Day.
The exciting pair excelled at Trentham last Saturday, jockeys Jonathan Parkes and Opie Bosson telling trainer Lisa Latta they are still very much at the learning stage.
Bosson was full of praise for Lincoln Raider after he came from last at the 600 metre mark with a big finish that carried him past Jessiegee and stablemate Father Lenihan close to the post.
“Opie says while he’s still learning he’s certainly pretty smart but we’ll just have to wait and see if he can ride him next time.’’
Latta is hoping Bosson, the contracted rider for Te Akau, can team again with Lincoln Raider in the $80,000 Dunstan 1500 Championship Final, a special conditions event that will suit him perfectly.
Lincoln Falls’ target is the $60,000 Uncle Remus Stakes (1400m) which will serve a three-pronged purpose.
“It will give him a trip away, a run right-handed, and a look at Ellerslie,’’ says Latta who is keen to familiarise the colt with the peculiarities of the track before he returns for the $1 million New Zealand Derby in March.
“I thought it was best if I gave him one up there now rather than leave it all ’til February which has been our hottest month.’’
Parkes was impressed by the way Lincoln Falls picked up an albeit weak bunch off a slow tempo, given he still lacks a lot of ringcraft.
Safely through Ellerslie, Lincoln Falls has the $225,000 Levin Classic (1600m) at Trentham on January 12, an event for which he is now a clear $8 second favourite behind NZ 2000 Guineas winner Madison County ($6).
Latta was only a nose and a short head away from bagging a third win on Wellington’s premier card last Saturday when Johnny Lincoln was caught in the shadows of the post after leading all the way down the long Trentham straight.
And she was delighted with the effort of Platinum Invador who got back from a wide draw, was in heavy traffic up the straight, but flew when finally clear 100 metres out to be only 2.6 lengths from the winner.
The Redwood three-year-old goes next to Otaki on December 20 where he should be mighty hard to beat in a maiden mile.
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Saturday at Trentham
Race 1: Lincoln Valley
“He didn’t have all favours last start- he was three wide without cover the trip and the effort told in the last bit. He also got squeezed up a little late. From the six draw we will go forward and I’m sure Lisa will have learned a lot from him in his last run. His work has been really good and I have added a nasal strip as he is quite a noisy breather and it may help. It’s not an overly strong field and the big roomy track will suit.”
Race 7: Platinum Spirit
“We are racing him out of his grade so he gets in at a nice light weight. Carrying 60kg last start was a really big ask and he got there a touch too soon. He has drawn awkwardly at 12 but he has the ability to put himself in the race if there’s a lack of speed. He looks fantastic and still holds a nomination for the Wellington Cup next week but might need to gain a few more points to get into the field. Chris Dell rides.”
Race 8: Father Lenihan
“The outside draw is tricky but Robbie knows him well - he’s ridden him in three of his four wins - and I’m sure he will make him jump and put him on the speed. He’s been out of the winner’s circle for a while but he went a great race last start and this field is nowhere near as strong. We were going to step him up over ground but he sits so awkwardly in the ratings at 76 that he would be carrying the top weight of 62kg in a R74 2000m.”