Goldie and Make Way go round this week to prep for upcoming Queensland campaign

Don’t expect too much from Lets Strike The Gold and Make Way this week as both pacers have a conditioning run before campaigning in Queensland.

Lets Strike The Gold meets some smart types in the fifth race at Bathurst on Wednesday evening while Make Way also runs into a handy field in the second race at Penrith on Thursday night.

The assignments are more about getting the two Sydney-based pacers fit, Lets Strike The Gold after a long absence and Make Way who was given a freshen-up after his winning hat-trick at Goulburn, Penrith and Newcastle.

The pair will be part of a three-horse team which trainer Sonya Smith and Anthony Butt will take north next Tuesday for features at the Queensland winter carnival, starting with the A$21,000 Redcliffe Derby and A$31,000 Redcliffe Cup on June 22.

“I’m looking forward to Queensland,’’ says Butt. “It won’t be easy in the big races but Make Way has earned a shot and if he can get a draw and follow the speed, who knows what he can do.

“He’s absolutely flying and I couldn’t be happier with him. He came over (from New Zealand) in great order and has continued to thrive, getting better and better with racing.

“He’s amazing. His heart rate is brilliant after his workouts, he’s really in the zone at the moment.’’

Butt knows Make Way faces an uphill battle on Thursday night, drawn the outside of the second row against some nice types like Leonidas.

“But it’s more about getting a run into him. And the same goes with Goldie (Lets Strike The Gold) at Bathurst.

Lets Strike The Gold fights on bravely for a close fourth after doing a power of work at Newcastle.Lets Strike The Gold fights on bravely for a close fourth after doing a power of work at Newcastle.“It’s a tough race for him but it’s hard to find the right races for him away from Menangle.

“At least there are only seven in it. He’ll go back and we’ll see if he can run into a place.’’

Butt says it’s not only Thunder Dance, winner of his last three on end, and a 1:51.5 trialist at Menangle, who will test Goldie on Wednesday night.

“There are two or three good ones but that’s quite good in a way as it means one horse won’t dominate the race.’’

Butt says he was thrilled with the way Goldie fought on for fourth at Newcastle in just his second run back after doing a lot of early work then sitting parked for the last lap.

“There are a number of good races coming up for Goldie in Brisbane, below the top level, and with each run he is closer to finding his right mark.”

Smith and Butt will begin their float trip north on Tuesday, stopping halfway at a motel, complete with horse stalls, to break up the 11-hour journey.

The Sydney reinforcements will bring to six the number of pacers Lincoln Farms will have competing at the winter carnival, along with Northview Hustler, Trojan Banner, Vasari and Lincoln’s Girl.

Lets Strike The Gold races at 8.40pm NZ time at Bathurst on Wednesday.Lets Strike The Gold races at 8.40pm NZ time at Bathurst on Wednesday.Make Way races at 8.52pm NZ time at Penrith on Thursday.Make Way races at 8.52pm NZ time at Penrith on Thursday.

Our runners this week

Saturday night at Albion Park


Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 2: Frisco Bay

“He obviously needed the run last week. He pulled his way round the field and sat outside the leader but he couldn’t cop a run like that first-up and got tired. The ability is there, whether he’s fit enough or not we’ll find out. But I expect him to go well, the three draw is much better than last week.”

Race 2: Lenny Lincoln

“He’ll probably need a race but he’s capable of running a slot. He’s unlucky not to have won a race, all three of his seconds were good. He’s got a bit better with each of his trials this time in and he got home well last Saturday, after coming widest on the turn.”

Race 3: Obadiah Dragon

“The way the race was run at Cambridge last week, his effort wasn’t bad at all. Moni (Monika Ranger) said he felt strong and, if he’d been a few slots closer, he would have been right in it. He’ll be improved for the run.”

Race 3: Leo Lincoln

“He’s very consistent - he’s only missed a couple of cheques. But he’s another just coming back and should improve with the run.”

Race Images - Harness