Green busy in sick bay as rampant Pukekohe virus sweeps through Lincoln Farms
Leading two-year-olds Line Up and Perfect Stride are out of Friday night’s Young Guns heat as the virus sweeping Pukekohe takes hold at Lincoln Farms.
Most of the team at Ray Green’s Pukekohe stable have now been struck down to varying degrees, victim of a bug which has laid low standardbreds and thoroughbreds alike in the region.
“It’s absolutely rife around here,’’ says Green.
“And I don’t think you can avoid it. It’s just an environmental thing with the dry and dust.’’
The untimely setback, just a week out from the $100,000 Young Guns Final at Alexandra Park, has affected most of Green’s two-year-olds who are running high temperatures and have snotty noses, with some off their feed.
“Perfect Stride was one of the first to get it, and then Sir Tiger.
“Some seem to shake it off quickly but with others it lingers a bit.’’
Crack colt Line Up, who looked totally dominant on debut on February 8, had a high temperature of 39.7 this morning, significantly up on the normal 37.5 deg C.
“He’s not lying down or dying or anything but he’s a bit depressed.’’
Perfect Stride, who was forced to miss the February 8 race, is well on the way back, says Green.
“He jogged this morning and seems much better, and his temperature is down.
“But if you lined him up tomorrow you’d risk gutting him completely. It’s best to try to get him right for the $100,000 race next week.’’
Green says he had no option but to treat Line Up to bring his temperature down.
“Hopefully he’ll be good to go next Friday. They’ve missed a bit of work and now a lead-up race but hopefully that won’t matter too much. They were pretty tight before that.’’
Green says unfortunately all their new yearling buys are going to cop the bug, even though they have been isolated, but that was of far less significance to the potential damage to the racing team.
“Hilary Barry appears to be OK at the moment and she will take her place in the fillies’ race tomorrow night.’’
Asked if she was going to find it tough again from a second row Green replied: “She’d find it tough if she started in front of the gate in that field. It’s hard to make a case for anything against that monster that won last week.’’
The monster he is referring to is the Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen-trained filly Sweet On Me, the Sweet Lou filly out of champion Adore Me who annihilated her rivals on debut on February 25 in a 1:56.7 mile rate.
Drawn three in the eighth race on Friday night, Sweet On Me is sure to start at extremely restricted odds with Tony Herlihy in the bike.
More news in Harness
Al on today’s demolition: What will Trojan do when he’s fully fit and stops waiting for them?
Ants: Make Way ‘won with a leg in the air’ - and there’s plenty more in store
The incredible hulk Governor’s Bay steps out at Auckland on Friday with Ray only guessing
More tests for Zealand Star after sudden lameness baffles Green
Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them
Thursday night at Penrith
Race 4: Vasari
9.33pm NZ time
“He’s been going good races from bad draws and, if he can lead from one, he’ll be awfully hard to beat.’’
Race 6: Make Way
10.33pm NZ time
“He seems back to his best again. He’s really bright in himself and is bouncing around. He had an easy time for a while with his cough, and it’s possible he’ll need the run, but he’s not far away and from the front he’d be hard to beat.’’
Friday at Albion Park
Race 3: Trojan Banner
4.57pm NZ time
“The draw is horrible and makes it very tough for him. The horse in front of him is a slug off the gate and if we follow him we could end up three or four deep. At least over 2138 metres you have a little time up your sleeve. You can grab hold, pop off, give them a little breather in the second quarter, then take it as it comes. He has improved greatly since his last run but he’s still not at his peak and I’m reluctant to pressure him too much second-up by looping the field.’’
Friday night at Auckland
Race 4: Just Wing It
“If he can land a good trip (from five) there’s no reason why he can’t pay another dividend. He’s gone three honest races so far. The winner of his race last week (Benson Boys) ran 2:40 and they don’t go much faster than that so to run on for third was a good effort.”
Race 5: Governor’s Bay
“I like the horse, he’s got the raw ability to win a race or two up here. He blew like hell after his workout on Saturday which tells me he tried hard and he’s a bit porky. He’s put on a lot of weight in a couple of weeks. It’s his first time right handed on Friday and I’ll be running him with pull down blinds after he knocked off at the trials.’’
Race 9: Hilary Barry
“Mark Purdon’s monsters aren’t there which gives everyone else a chance but she’ll find it tough from the draw. Unless she’s very lucky it’s not a good scenario. If Andrew goes forward and uses her petrol it will be hard and if he goes back she’ll get nothing.’’