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Father Lenihan … lands in the right race and would love some more rain. PHOTO: Race Images.

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.

Lincoln Fury … the form books won’t show it but he has been an impressive winner of his last two jumpouts. PHOTO: Royden Williams.Lincoln Fury … the form books won’t show it but he has been an impressive winner of his last two jumpouts. PHOTO: Royden Williams.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.

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.