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Billy Lincoln (Hayden Barnes) notched three wins and three seconds from only seven starts in Queensland. PHOTO: Dan Costello.

First Lincoln’s Girl, now Billy - the Americans’ appetite for Lincoln Farms horses grows

Improving three-year-old Billy Lincoln has been sold to the United States - and his Marburg trainer Al Barnes admits he’s sorry to see the horse go.

The Bettor’s Delight three-year-old will follow in the footsteps of another Barnes graduate, Lincoln’s Girl, to the same American owner who has enjoyed three wins and a third with the mare since her arrival.

Billy Lincoln is headed for the New Jersey barn of former Australian Tahn Camilleri who races predominantly in the Northeast and has had recent success with Breeders’ Crown elimination winner Dancing Lou.

Billy Lincoln left New Zealand in September worth very little with a zero from four formline but made an instant hit in Queensland where he has racked up three wins and three seconds from only seven starts, his sole failure when all at sea on the tricky Redcliffe track.

Al Barnes … Billy promising but you couldn’t turn down the money.Al Barnes … Billy promising but you couldn’t turn down the money.And now he has fetched a healthy five figures, a sum which Barnes says, despite the horse’s promise, you simply couldn’t turn down.

“In another three months I reckon he’ll be a different horse. And I know it’s a big call but he might have made a derby horse in six months.

“He’s just got better and better and better. And there’s still so much improvement left in him.

“But after an offer like we got he had to go. If he got to the next level and stopped improving we’d have missed the boat.”

Barnes says Billy Lincoln’s last run at Albion Park when he dropped out early, circled the field, and kept fighting for driver Hayden Barnes when everything else was done, showed just how much he’d come on since arriving in Queensland.

“He had a tough run against some handy horses and still ran great.”

Billy Lincoln is scheduled to leave Marburg on Thursday for Melbourne and will be on a flight to the United States next week, the fourth horse to be sold after being cultivated for Lincoln Farms by Barnes, Trojan Banner and Vasari leaving earlier in the year.

Barnes is in no doubt that Lincoln’s Girl’s success in North America clinched the deal and says the agent is already asking “which one of Lincoln Farms’ horses can we buy next?”

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Cambridge

Race 3: Lincoln Lou
6.39pm

“He’s a beautiful little horse and I’m looking forward to seeing him run. It’s hard to know how good he is, or how far he’ll go, but I guess we’ll find out on Friday. He’s the one to beat from the draw. If he doesn’t win, he won’t be far away.”

Race 5: Commander Lincoln
7.31pm

“I won’t be holding my breath. He tries hard enough but he lacks a bit of high speed.”

Race 8: Onyx Shard
8.55pm

“It’s two and a half months since she last raced, and she didn’t grow as much as I thought she would, but I’m expecting her to go a good race. Her last two trials have been good and she’s pulled up well.”

Race 8: Obadiah Dragon
8.55pm

“He’ll need a good trip from five but he’s not out of it. He went a good race last time at Cambridge and would be as equal a chance as Onxy Shard.”

Race 8: Beaudiene Rocknroll
8.55pm

“It’s heart-in-the-mouth stuff with him until they let them go but he should step away this time. Zac (Butcher) said the gate went particularly slowly before that race and that’s why he got impatient. I thought he did well to recover for third. If he made the front, where he goes best, he’d be hard to beat.”

Race 9: Frisco Bay
9.22pm

“He’s a tidy horse and I’m expecting a big run. We’ve sorted the problem he had with his breathing last season and he’s right in the zone now after a second and a win at the workouts.”

Mark Dux

Mark Dux’s comments

Saturday night at Albion Park

Race 5: Argyle
11.02pm NZ time

“It wouldn’t have mattered where he drew this week, he’s in the money, barring bad luck. He’s going terrific and he gets in so well at the ratings.”

Whales Harness