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.
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Friday night at Auckland
Race 4: Copy That
“He’s certainly got some speed. The race was all over by the time he got going last week and James never pulled the plugs. Clearly he’s the best horse in the field on ability. But there are no guarantees he’ll behave.’’
Race 4: Tommy Lincoln
“He’s trialling well but I won’t be expecting too much from gate six. He was a big, gangly, weak thing but he’s strengthened up a lot this time in.”
Race 4: Billy Lincoln
“It’s his first race, and first time away from Pukekohe and he’s drawn the inside of the second row so logic tells you he has a few things against him. Until six weeks ago he was extremely average but he’s progressively got better and better.”
Race 8: Governor’s Bay
“He had a tough trip last time so it wasn’t surprising he weakened. He’s training well and this field looks a lot easier.”
Friday at Albion Park
Race 1: Lincoln’s Girl
2.42pm NZ time
“It’s not a bad field but she’s as good as anything else in there and looks a top two chance with a little luck from the second row. She went super last time - I didn’t know how brave she’d be when I saw her caught in the chair but Hayden was very happy with how she went.”
Race 9: Vasari
7.22pm NZ time
“He should get out a lot better this week with Hayden back driving and we’ll be trying to cross the pole marker. The horse is really well and he’ll win one soon. It’s a good line-up but he should run top three.’’
Saturday night at Menangle
Race 7: Lets Strike The Gold
10.22pm NZ time
“This is a difficlut race for him to win and I’ll be driving him quietly from that barrier. It’s been nearly nine months since he raced and he’s going to need a couple of runs to get his race fitness.”