#GoLincolnFury - you can get our hearts racing before the curtain comes down on Winx
Lincoln Fury might have to turn on a Winx-like finish to win the #GoWinx Mile at Hastings but he looks a tempting appetiser for punters just a few minutes before the champion’s swansong in Sydney.
The final race at Hastings is set to jump at 4.55pm, just 10 minutes before the A$4million Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick, where racing’s sweetheart will command a record crowd in her 43rd and final start.
And while Winx has won her last 32 races on end - her unbeaten streak started nearly four years ago in May, 2015 - and won 36 races in all for earnings of $26 million, Lincoln Farms’ emerging stayer Lincoln Fury will be lining up for only the 11th time with just one win to this name.
But while he will never reach the heights of Winx, trainer Lisa Latta is predicting a nice future for the All Too Hard three-year-old.
Saturday’s run over 1600 metres will be Lincoln Fury’s last before Latta steps him up over ground when she says we can really expect to see him run.
But Lincoln Fury has already hinted at what’s to come with his big finishes, the latest at Awapuni on March 30 one of his best.
Despite his hindquarters being bumped 150 metres out, he motored home for fourth, recording the fastest last 600 in the race of 34.25 to be just a head and a neck from second.
Lincoln Fury also lost a right hind plate 350 metres from home, on top of having to be replated behind the barriers.
“He’s a pretty laid back customer,’’ says Latta.
“But he’s got no early speed and that could be a problem at Hastings. You need to draw well there because they really go hard early and jostle for positions.
“The mile start at Hastings is one of the hardest in the country and he’s drawn trickily in eight.
“We’re going to try to ride him in midfield and if Craig (Grylls) can get him in, he’ll be hard to beat.
“He galloped very well on Wednesday morning and with any luck I expect him to be right in the finish.’’
It’s hard to make a case for any of Lincoln Farms’ other runners this weekend.
At Hastings, Platinum Road won’t be starting in the second race, Latta not happy with his eye, which has been swollen all week with an ulcer.
In her swansong, Miss Oahu meets by far the strongest field she has seen in her modest three-win career - and has to start from the outside 15 gate.
Jumping from winning a rating 65 event into a handicap of open sprinters, the Pins six-year-old looks completely outclassed.
Kamanda Lincoln can’t be completely ruled out in the $75,000 Hawkes Bay Cup because he gets in on the minimum weight of 53kg, but a long tough season looks to have taken its toll on him.
“He was a bit disappointing in the Awapuni Gold Cup but the track was very hard,’’ says Latta.
“I’m hoping they get some rain, but there’s not much in the forecast.’’
Kamanda Lincoln was tailed off last in the Gold Cup and, while he got right up in behind the leaders early in the run home by cutting the corner, he only battled up the straight.
“He’s had some tough racing this season, and a trip down south, and he’ll be going out for a spell after Saturday.’’
Distance will test Rapper
At Riccarton, Platinum Rapper looks to be up against it over 2000 metres in the $50,000 Warstep Stakes.
Latta admits she was disappointed in the filly’s fourth placing in last Saturday’s Airfreight Stakes (1600m) when stablemate Secret Allure gave her windburn when streaking past early in the run home.
“She pulled a bit too hard and there’s a query about her getting the distance now. Chris (Johnson) reckons she might be best at 1400 metres.
“I’m hoping that by going back on Saturday she’ll switch off and we can try for a run through them late.”
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Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them
Saturday at Trentham
Race 1: Lincoln’s Kruz
“He has come through his unlucky Awapuni run well and I am very happy with him heading into Saturday. We could have waited for Wednesday at Hastings where there’s a maiden 3yo 1400m but given there are only two winners in this race, and it’s worth $30K, it seemed a better option. If he can get some luck in the running this time he can be right in the finish.”
Race 2: Lincoln Raider
“He lightened off after the trip south but has quickly put the weight back on and I am happy with him. This is a drop in class from his last run at Riccarton but there are some handy types in the field in Miss Labasa, Times Ticking and Savette. His work has been good and with Kozzi Asano’s 2kg claim bringing his weight down to 58.5kg I expect him to be very competitive.”
Race 2: Lincoln Hills
“He ran a great race last time after being caught wide at Awapuni and has come through it well. He again has an awkward draw to overcome but there doesn’t appear to be an abundance of pace except for Miss Labasa so we will be positive on him. If he can run up to his best form, he is capable of being right in the finish.”
Race 3: Kamanda Lincoln
“Sam Collett felt he needed the run at Otaki last start. The new bit definitely helped him settle and he has a lovely draw again to get a nice run. I haven’t done a lot with him since he raced but I am very happy with him. Kozzi Asano will claim 2kg, down to 53.5kg.”
Race 3: Johnny Lincoln
“He gets in at a nice weight and is thriving. There was a lot of speed in the race at Awapuni which allowed him to finish well but there is no real natural front-runner in here so we may need to make sure he is put into the race. I am expecting another top run from him.”
Race 9: Platinum Road
“It’s a special condition maiden but there are only three winners in it so it’s more like a maiden for him. He ran a top race at Awapuni last time and will be better for that experience over 1600 metres. He has drawn well in barrier three and should again be able to get a lovely run just in behind the speed. He keeps improving and I expect him to hit the line really well again on this big, roomy track. Leith Innes will ride.”
Sunday at Waipukurau
Race 1: Ajay Lincoln
“He was beaten by the muddling pace and on-speed bias at New Plymouth last time. Robbie (Hannam) has always been adamant he will get up over ground and he gets his chance here. We will be positive from the gates and get him into the race to give him every chance to step up and show something.”
Race 2: Benny Lincoln
“Finally he’s got a nice draw. He has kept improving with the good tracks and, while this may be a touch short of his best distance, as long as he is finding the line I will be happy. He has a great attitude - he wants to be a racehorse - but he has just taken a while to mature.”
Race 4: Lincoln Hanover
“From a great one draw he should be able to get a lovely run in behind the speed. Robbie thinks he will get up over more ground but I have chosen to give him one more start over 1200 metres first. He is certainly capable of taking out this race.”
Race 5: Lincoln’s Gal
“She has a nice draw (four) to use and hopefully Robbie can end up in the one-one on her. She will strip far fitter on Sunday. I toyed with stepping her up over more ground but, given she blew out fresh-up, I felt another 1200 metre race was better for her. She placed in her only previous run at Waipukurau and I am expecting a far better effort this time.”