Frankie Major’s speed and ace draw a winning formula at Auckland on Thursday night
Frankie Major has the speed and Lincoln River the toughness to play major roles for Lincoln Farms in the eighth race at Auckland on Thursday night.
But on a busy night when the stable lines up nine runners, trainer Ray Green is plumping for Frankie Major to come up trumps.
“They’re two very different horses,” says Green. “Frankie has a bit more high speed than Lincoln River but he’s a good fighter, who can overcome adversities and worry them out of it.”
Green says it will come down to the trips each horse gets and, drawn the ace, Frankie has the advantage.
“Frankie’s a nice horse when he’s on his game. He has gate speed. If he leads he’s a great chance. If he takes a sit he’s also a great chance.
“He needed the run last time at Cambridge and still nearly won. He’s ready now and based on his last run, he’ll improve a little bit more.”
Frankie Major showed high speed when he launched from the rear at Cambridge, looking the winner until grabbed by Claude in the shadows of the post.
Green’s pre-race assessment was that Frankie was still not quite there yet but the horse’s performance at last Thursday’s Pukekohe workouts convinced him all was now on point.
After trailing stablemate Beaudiene Rocknroll to the turn, Frankie Major accelerated impressively to score by a length in a slick 2:00.9 mile rate, home in 57 and 28.4.
Green, however, says you can never write off Lincoln River who has drawn in a niggly spot, gate six.
“He’s in the zone I’m sure he’ll go well again.”
One race later, Simply Sam gets another chance to regain the winner’s list, albeit in another small field.
Green’s fears that a small field could undo the four-year-old last week proved correct when they dawdled through the opening quarter in 33.1 and half in 64.9.
Though Simply Sam sprinted up sharply from the rear round the home turn and momentarily looked the winner, he ended up a length and half a neck behind Hooray Henry and Magic Four, rivals again on Thursday night.
“He was a little bit disappointing but, to be fair to him, it was one of those stupid sit-and-sprint races and he had to do a bit improving out wide.
“He’s a bit better than that.”
Simply Sam’s run on the clock was the best in the field, his sectionals easily the fastest, his closing mile in 2:01.3, 800 in 56.8 and 400 in 28.
Green doesn’t expect Simply Sam to have any trouble with the longer 2700 metres on Thursday - his record reads four starts at the trip for a win and two placings.
And neither will the switch to a standing start inconvenience him, says Green. He has one win and a placing from three goes behind the tapes. “He steps well from a stand and he’ll go another good race.”
Leo ready to improve
Leo Lincoln (race 7) showed he was ready to improve his form line when sprinting from the trail to win his workout heat last Thursday.
He easily had stablemate and race rival Lincoln Cove covered, scoring by one and three-quarter lengths.
“Leo Lincoln is a nice horse, the better of the two at this stage, and the way he trialled I’m expecting him to go a good race.”
Leo Lincoln’s inside second row might look restrictive but he follows out the Telfer-trained filly Kada who showed gate speed to lead early on debut.
Major Achievement’s 5448 form line is nothing to write home about but look for a better showing from him too in the fourth race, tips Green, who liked his winning workout last week.
“I thought he trialled super and would have to be considered a serious chance this week. It was as good a trial as I’ve seen him do. He should get his chance from four.”
Major Achievement, a half brother to 27-race winner Upanatom, led most of the way in his Pukekohe heat to score by two and a half lengths over Day Dreamz and the Anzac Cup placed trotter All Cashed Up.
Don’t expect too much from Onyx Shard or Beaudiene Rocknroll in the sixth race.
Onyx Shard, who didn’t start last week because she needed some vet work done, is the better drawn of the pair but hasn’t raced since winning at Cambridge on Grins day in April.
“She’s a lovely, quality filly who I expect will develop into a nice racehorse but you couldn’t guarantee she’ll be on top of her game just yet. I won’t be holding my breath first run back.
“Beaudiene Rocknroll went well at the workouts - when second to Frankie Major - but the second line draw doesn’t inspire you with much confidence. He’ll need a lot of luck.”
My Copy is tailend charlie of the Lincoln Farms’ team but from gate seven in the 10th race, he will also need Lady Luck on his shoulder.
“He hasn’t gone a bad race and hasn’t had much luck with the draws. He’s a runner’s chance in a small field.”
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Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them
Friday night at Cambridge
Race 3: Lincoln Lou
“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
“I won’t be holding my breath. He tries hard enough but he lacks a bit of high speed.”
Race 8: Onyx Shard
“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
“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
“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
“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’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.”