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: How our trainer rates them
Thursday at Woodville
Race 3: Lincoln’s Gal
“She has a nice barrier to use and has improved since placing in her trial at Foxton. She galloped nicely on Tuesday morning and from the draw I expect her to be right in the finish.”
Sunday at Otaki
Race 1: Dreams Of Platinum
“She does go well fresh and she’ll jump and put herself right there. But her coat’s not quite there yet and she will improve with the run.’’
Race 3: Lincoln Melody
“I’ll be happy to just see her working home strongly. It’s a good race for her to start in, against her own sex, and she’ll have a soft run with Tim (Johnson) claiming 2kg.’’
Race 7: Master Lincoln
“It’s well short of his best and I just want to see him getting home. He has a fair amount of staying ability.’’
News in brief
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.
FATHER BOLD: Father Lenihan ran a bold race fresh-up at Hawera, box-seating behind the leaders and sticking to his guns in the run home to finish just two lengths from the winner Empress Tzu Hsi in fifth spot. He was heavily backed down to second favouritism at the jump.
RAIDER ROUGHED UP: Lincoln Raider’s fresh-up run for fourth at Hastings was full of merit. He finished only 1.3 lengths from the winner at a distance well short of his best despite being crowded leaving the barriers and hampered passing the 400 metres.
AJAY ON HOLD: Ajay Lincoln’s debut has been delayed, trainer Lisa Latta scratching him from Waverley to allow him to get over a stone bruise. The promising colt had galloped in great style with Lincoln Falls and looks to have a nice future.