Lisa Latta … took up an offer for help from John Street in 1998 and has never looked back. PHOTO: Royden Williams

Exciting season ahead for Lisa as quality three-year-olds prepare to strut their stuff

Lincoln Farms’ trainer Lisa Latta admits to plenty of excitement at the season ahead with the chance of achieving a long held dream and a couple of real milestones in sight.

Latta, 50, has high hopes that smart colt Lincoln Falls will fashion into a New Zealand Derby chance, so much so that she has put him out for a break now to concentrate on the Ellerslie classic in March.

And the Dundeel colt is just at the tip of a phalanx of talented Lincoln Farms three-year-olds which Latta has been quietly putting through their paces.

“I usually have one or two nice young ones but I have an exciting team this year. I’ve always wanted to win a derby and Lincoln Falls isn’t my only chance.’’

The 15 three-year-olds Latta has in work for Lincoln Farms should certainly help propel her towards a target of training 300 winners for Lincoln Farms.

Since John and Lynne Street first gave Latta a horse in 1998, best calculations put her tally now at 279 for the Auckland couple.

It was the Streets who encouraged Latta to try her hand at training when her then partner, Malcom Smith, died suddenly in December, 1998.

”I had only eight horses but John told me that if I wanted to have a go [as a solo trainer], that he would support me,” Latta said. ”Who knows whether I would have had a go without his support and who knows whether I would have got this far?’’

Latta made an instant impression on the Streets, training her first winner for them on January 2, 1999 when Resonare scored at Tauherenikau.

Resonare went on to claim the Group III Thompson Handicap and that sealed their relationship.

In the interim Lincoln Farms has been instrumental in helping Latta to become the first woman to win the national trainers’ premiership when in 2013-14 she saddled 87 winners.

Latta is now on the downhill stretch to a milestone reached by few trainers - that of training 1000 winners.

New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing records have her present tally at 908, suggesting all going well she should achieve the feat in the next two seasons.

Latta says she has a big team helping her at Awapuni, about 20 in all, and now that it’s school holidays son Josh, 14, and daughter Jaime, 12, are there at the stable chipping in too.

That’s when they can be dragged out of bed at 5am!

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Stephen Marsh

Stephen’s comments

Wednesday at Matamata

Race 5: Bush Whacked

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

Thursday at Otaki

Race 2, 4: Lincoln Sky

“I’ve put him in two races, one over 1200 metres and the other 1400 metres and will wait to see what the weather does before deciding which race to run in. If the rain arrives we will line him up in the 1200. He ran a good race when resuming at Wanganui and I have been happy with his progress since.’’

Race 6: Platinum Invador

“Unfortunately he has come up with an outside draw again. He ran a big race at Trentham from a wide gate in a far stronger field. A lot of rain is forecast on Wednesday night though so the bad draw may be negated come race time. He galloped very well this morning and I expect him to be right in it.’’

Race 8: Alesha Lincoln

“Her recent work has been good enough and we have a nice draw to use. Being by Alamosa, it suggests any rain will not worry her. I am looking forward to her debut.’’

Saturday at Awapuni

Race 1: Miss Oahu

“I’ve chosen to start her up a rating band to get some weight relief and she gets in with only 54.5kg. She has really improved since her first-up run and her coat looks far better now. I expect a bold run from her, especially with the one draw to use.’’

Race 2: Platinum Touch

“She’s come up with the outside draw so if it doesn’t rain I will probably scratch her and go to New Plymouth on December 27. Her work has been good and I am happy with her heading into her debut.”

Race 5: Johnny Lincoln

“He’s drawn one from the outside but if he can get any luck in the running he’ll be very hard to beat. I am very happy with him and he has trained on well.’’

Race 8: Father Lenihan

“He’s had no luck with barrier draws and the trend continues on Saturday where he has drawn the outside. He has good gate speed however so we will look to go forward. The forecasted rain will help him and hopefully the track ends up in the dead range. He has continued to please me since his last run at Trentham.’’

Lincoln light

News in brief

Platinum Mam’selle, arrowed, flew late to be beaten a head and long neck.

Platinum Mam’selle, arrowed, flew late to be beaten a head and long neck.

MAM’SELLE MASSIVE: Platinum Mam’selle clocked 34.59, easily the fastest last 600 metres in her race at Awapuni on Saturday when she flew from last at the 200 metre mark to get up for third, just a head and a long neck from winner All In Mana. Those who followed trainer Lisa Latta’s advice collected a $4.50 place dividend.

INVADOR UNLUCKY: Platinum Invador ($52) ran only ninth at Trentham but was dead unlucky. He settled at the rear after jumping awkwardly then was held up entering the home straight and did not get clear until 100 metres out when he rocketed home to be just 2.6 lengths from the winner.

PORT’S FORGIVE RUN: Port Lincoln did well to finish less than three lengths from the winner at Waipukurau. He was held up for a distance near the 500 metres then ran up onto heels passing the 300 metres, having to be angled outwards to get clear.

BUSH BAFFLER: Trainer Stephen Marsh will be trying a few different training tactics with Bush Whacked, including some jumping, to try to switch the horse on. He travelled strongly on the pace until the turn at Avondale but quickly raised the white flag.

DERBY DREAM: Trainer Lisa Latta has nominated six Lincoln Farms’ three-year-olds for the $1 million New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie on March 2 - Lincoln Falls, Lincoln Lane, Ajay Lincoln, Lincoln Fury, Lincoln Hanover and Platinum Invador. Latta has also entered 2000 Guineas placegetter Sir Nate.

VOLOS BLOWS IT AGAIN: Platinum Volos did another Chautauqua impersonation when he refused to come out of the gates at Awapuni despite wearing pacifiers and a barrier blanket. The grey will now have to trial on multiple occasions before being allowed to race again.

ALMO OUT FOR SPELL: Almo Street’s much awaited racetrack return, with the aid of a blindfold to help him jump out of the gates, has been put on hold. Trainer Lisa Latta says the normally good trackworker has been decidedly average in his last two gallops and, after nearly a year in work sorting out his problems, is simply over the top.