Hang it all, Lincoln Green’s a much better galloper than that, says Lisa
Racegoers never got to see the real Lincoln Green at Te Rapa last time but trainer Lisa Latta is hoping he’ll bounce back at Otaki on Thursday.
Latta had high hopes when she took Lincoln Green to the Waikato last month for a stakes race after his gritty all-the-way debut win at Otaki.
But we never got the chance to see if he could match it with Pinmedown and company when he hung “clean off the track’’ while leading turning for home.
Rider Leith Innes didn’t persevere with the Ferlax three-year-old after that and he finished last of seven, but it was not a true reflection of his ability.
“He’s a lovely horse,’’ says Latta. “Leith couldn’t ride him out last time but he has shown no signs of hanging in his work since that run.
“Robbie (Hannam) has galloped him a couple of times so hopefully he is back on the right track.’’
Latta says Lincoln Green is very bright but it just remains to be seen whether he will handle the expected heavy 10 conditions at Otaki.
“He’s a big, strong boy but I’m still worried as he has such a big stride. We had rain overnight but hopefully won’t get a lot more.
“Either he handles it or he doesn’t. But if he doesn’t we’re likely to turn him out during the winter.
“Most of all I want to see him run straight.’’
Latta says there’s no question that on class Lincoln Green could blow his rivals away and from a good barrier, his ability to race on the pace will be a big asset.
Lincoln Green led all the way over 1400 metres at Otaki on April 10, winning a titanic home stretch duel, and Latta says the budding stayer won’t be troubled by the extra 200 metres on Thursday.
Race six runner Authentic Charm looks the next best of Lincoln Farms’ four runners on the day, despite drawing wide at the barrier yet again.
The mare has not run a bad race this campaign, as her 554435 form line suggests, and she again looked unlucky at Woodville last time when held up 300 metres from home.
Unleashing the third fastest last 600 metres in the race of 33.85 she featured in a busy photo finish, just two short heads and a half head from second.
Having had no wet grass tracks to gallop on Latta says she has no idea how the mare will handle the heavy going.
“I suppose it depends how sticky it gets and there are a couple in the race with form but, if she can get some cover, she is capable of finishing over the top of them.’’
Latta doesn’t know what to expect from Platinum Appeal in the fifth race after her poor first-up run at Trentham when she beat only one home.
Latta had been expecting a bold showing after some good jumpouts by the filly but rider Robbie Hannam reported she “didn’t try at all.’’
On Hannam’s recommendation Latta will fit blinkers to Platinum Appeal on Thursday and she says the filly has galloped well wearing them.
“She has a bit of an awkward draw but we will ride her back and hope she runs on, rather than being on the pace and having her stop.’’
Denny’s Lincoln (race 8) will be having his first start since a tendon injury 14 months ago so is sure to need the run.
“He had a long time off and, while he’s a good galloper, this is a big ask for him, first-up in heavy ground.
“It’s not an overly strong field but as long as he finishes thereabouts it will be a good enough run first-up.’’
Denny’s Lincoln, now six, has a record of one win and four placings from 15 starts.
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Thursday at Hastings
Race 6: Lincoln Town
“He’s drawn the outside but with the rail out 10 metres they’re only starting twelve horses and he has the gate speed to go forward so this will negate the draw. He worked nicely this morning and has continued to hold his condition well. I expect him to be right in the finish.”
Race 8: Ajay Lincoln
“He has a nice draw and the step-up to 1650 metres will suit. The track has come up a slow 8 and hopefully it will stay in that range as he will appreciate that better than the heavy ground he struck at Awapuni. He is finally starting to do things right and seems a lot more switched on. I’m expecting a better run from him.”
Saturday at New Plymouth
Race 1: Manhattan Street
“There’s a lot of rain in the forecast so the track should be very wet and loose track which is what he wants. We’re trying to get some miles into him so we can eventually run him in a hurdle. There are a couple of smart types in the race in My Gift and Obsessive but I’m expecting a better run from him.”
Race 6: Platinum Rapper
“She needed the run at Awapuni last time and her work has been very good since. We decided on going for the cup as she gets in on the minimum and it’s another chance to get black type with her. When she met Rosewood at weight-for-age at Wanganui there was a 1.5kg difference but she gets 5.5kg this time. We know from the Wanganui run that she is up to this company and, while this field is slightly stronger, I feel she can be right in the finish. The track conditions will suit her.”