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Argyle (Angus Garrard) scores in style at Albion Park two starts back. PHOTO: Dan Costello.

Frustrated Mark on those draws: Too tough for Nemo and Argyle’s likely to have to sit parked

The barrier draws look set to dictate the fortunes of Lincoln Farms’ pair Captain Nemo and Argyle at Albion Park on Saturday night.

The luckless Captain Nemo is virtually out for the count after drawing five on the second row in the opening race and Argyle, while tidily spotted in two in the second race, will probably have to sit parked in the second race outside leader and likely winner Awaywego.

Trainer Mark Dux cursed when Nemo drew 12 on Saturday night, just eight days after he lost all chance when his wheel was struck 1400 metres out and his trye punctured and wrapped round the rim, forcing driver Jordan Topping to retire him from the race.

“I think he would nearly have won last week but it’s not looking good from 12 this week.”

Dux says the opposition in the band 5 race would have been hard enough without faring so badly in the random draw.

“If it had been only a mile with three on the second row maybe he’d have had a chance but it’s going to be really tough for him now.

“It’s so frustrating. He’s going well and looks terrific but now he’s totally reliant on what sort of a run he gets.”

At first glance, Argyle, as the equal top-rater in the second race, looks a royal winning show but Dux, who knows the racing patterns of the opposition so well, can see exactly what will happen.

“Pete McMullen will lead on the one horse (Awaywego) without doubt and it looks like we’ll have to sit parked. He’s strong enough to do it but can we sit outside him and beat him? Probably not on their runs last time.”

Twelve days ago when Awaywego came out fast and sat parked outside the leader Luvbite, Argyle enjoyed a perfect one-out-one-back trail yet photo-finished Awaywego only a nose.

“Awaywego has the most gate speed in the race and because he’s the leader, he’s the one to beat. If he had drawn anywhere else I’d have had no hesitation in saying we could beat him.”

Dux can’t see much gate speed wider on the front line, barring Daniel Boom.

“They like to go forward on him and, if he did, we might be lucky enough to get the one-one. But he knows at best he’s going to be outside the leader.

“Everything is in favour of Awaywego. Coming back to the mile will suit him too.”

Tommy close

Dux is pleased with the progress of his third Lincoln Farms’ charge Tommy Lincoln, who hasn’t raced for six months.

“He’s coming along well and I’ll trial him in two to three weeks.”

Dux is hoping to sneak Tommy Lincoln into the Ladbrokes Interdominion series which starts at Albion Park in 42 days on December 1. But he’ll have to raise his current ranking of 48th to make the 36-horse cut.

“He won’t have time for a lot of racing before the series comes around. I’ll have to give him a couple of trials. We can’t go in underdone, thinking we can keep up with them.”

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.”

Dan Costello Race Photography