Father Lenihan primed for an upset at Hawera
Father Lenihan will be a chance to return Lincoln Farms’ followers good odds when he resumes at Hawera on Saturday - providing the forecasted rain arrives.
Father Lenihan has not raced for three and a half months but won first-up last campaign and trainer Lisa Latta says he is in the right condition to repeat in the fifth race.
“He has really improved in the last couple of weeks. His coat has finally turned and he is looking very well.
“He has drawn nicely in one, Jonathan Riddell will ride him, and knowing he has won fresh-up in the past I’m looking forward to a good effort on Saturday.’’
Latta says she expects the O’Reilly four-year-old to go through the grades on off tracks - he has yet to race on a track better than slow.
“He’d be a little suspect if the rain didn’t come on Saturday.’’
Happy with better track for mature Street
Latta is not so worried about stablemate Manhattan Street in the third race over 1600 metres, even though all his form has been over shorter distances on wet tracks.
“I’ve been wanting to get him up over more ground on a better track. Hopefully the rain arrives and we end up with a nice dead/slow track as that would suit him ideally.’’
Manhattan Street drops a rating band on his fine last-start third behind King Cougar and Gift Of Power at Awapuni but Latta says the consequent rise in weight to 60.5kg won’t bother him.
“He’s a big horse who can carry weight. And he’s much more mature this time in.’’
Latta says not to be put off by the horse’s gate 14. “While he has drawn one from the outside he will go forward so this will not be an issue and they get a good run from the 1600 metre starting point.
“I think he’ll go another good race.’’
Big Port Lincoln for big price at Tauherenikau
On Thursday, Latta lines up two runners for Lincoln Farms at Tauherenikau - debutant Port Lincoln and fresh runner Johnny Lincoln.
And while he is less favoured in the bookies’ early odds, Latta believe Port Lincoln ($20 and $5.50) is the better prospect in the sixth race.
A full brother to the talented Almo Street, by Alamosa, Port Lincoln has been working very well, says Latta.
“I am very happy with him heading into his debut. If we can get a bit of luck from the draw in this capacity field, he is capable of being right in it.’’
A big horse, but comparatively light on his feet, Port Lincoln will get a 2kg claim through apprentice Tim Johnson who rode the horse when second at the Foxton trials last month.
Johnny Lincoln will be having his first run for four and a half months in the eighth race and Latta says the son of Savabeel will probably need it.
“He has an awkward draw but he needs to kick off somewhere to get this prep going.
“His work has been good but he will improve with the run. I just hope to see him hitting the line strongly.’’
Johnny Lincoln has won only one of his 22 starts but has been placed nine times.
More news in Gallops
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.