Father Lenihan could do with a little divine intervention at Awapuni
Father Lenihan looks the standout chance of Lincoln Farms’ four runners at Awapuni on Saturday.
He faces only a small field of average quality in the third race and with the prospect of his main rival coming out and the likelihood of more rain, his prospects will be further bolstered.
Trainer Lisa Latta reports Father Lenihan has gone ahead since his last-start win on the course, also at 1400 metres.
And with nearly 7ml of rain predicted this afternoon it’s possible the present dead 6 track conditions could be downgraded, which would play into his hands - his win was in slow 7 conditions.
Latta was banking on more rain when she entered Father Lenihan for the 1400 metre race, given he is really looking for 1600 metres now.
But the horse has shown a good turn of foot in all three starts this campaign and Latta says he’d cope with a dead 6 just fine.
She is also likely to withdraw stablemate The Rippa, who looks his only serious rival, and send him north to Pukekohe where he has drawn one in a $35,000 Dunstan Championship qualifying race over 1600 metres.
Latta lines up talented youngster Lincoln Fury in the second race on Saturday where, after early scratchings, he has only five rivals.
But with the race being an open three-year-old event, four of those have very good form, and three are winners, stats which prevent Latta from labelling him first-up.
Latta was keen on his chances of winning fresh-up after the All Too Hard youngster scored back-to-back jumpout wins.
But as a rating 50 horse against far higher ranked runners, she says she will be happy if he can run in the first three.
“Being on our back doorstep it’s a good race to kick him off in.
Latta says to take no notice of the poor form of Johnny Lincoln in the fifth race.
“He’ll go much better than his form suggests. The step-up to 2000 metres will really suit him and so will the dead track.’’
Johnny Lincoln’s sole win came over 2050 metres and he has been all round the honey pot throughout his career, racking up six seconds, three thirds, three fourths and three fifths.
Though only eighth last time over 1600 metres at Hastings he was just 4.6 lengths from the winner, and doing his best work late.
Stablemate Lincoln Bay, without a suitable rider, is unlikely to start unless significant rain falls.
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Our runners this week
Saturday at Otaki
Kamanda Lincoln, Lincoln Fury, Platinum Invador, Platinum Mam’selle.
News in brief
INVADOR CLOSER: Platinum Invador is now 22nd in the entry order for the 18-horse New Zealand Derby field at Ellerslie on March 2. The connections of Waikato Guineas winner Sponge Bob paid a $30,000 late entry fee on Tuesday to get the horse into the race.
RETIRED: Bush Whacked has been retired. Despite showing promise at trials the Sepoy three-year-old showed in three starts for Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh that he simply didn’t want to be a racehorse.
TOUCH FLAT: Rider Robbie Hannam told stewards he thought Platinum Touch was feeling the effects of her debut run and felt flat after beating only two home at Trentham.
LOST DREAMS: Dreams Of Platinum has been sold to Australia. The four-year-old mare won one race and placed seven times in 21 starts, earning nearly $35,000.