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He’s back! And trial shows the newly gelded Lincoln Falls is a much better model too

Classy galloper Lincoln Falls earned a start in the Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes at the end of the month with a stylish win at today’s Waverley trials.

The exciting three-year-old’s effort was the highlight of a hugely successful day for trainer Lisa Latta and Lincoln Farms with three wins and two close seconds from five runners.

Latta says the difference in Lincoln Falls since he was gelded after the New Zealand Derby was noticeable even before he jumped in the open 1000 metre catchweight heat.

“He’s so much more settled now - he was always very full on - but now even around the stable he’s a different horse.’’

Rider Jonathan Parkes was impressed by the way Lincoln Falls travelled too, as he sat just off the leader, stablemate Almo Street, in a slowly run heat.

And when he asked Lincoln Falls to run, he cruised alongside the leader and, with one slap over the shoulder took the lead halfway down the straight.

“He went to the line with little urging to score by a head,’’ said Latta who will now press ahead with a start in the late season Group III three-year-old feature at Te Rapa on April 27.

Almo Street … well behaved and a bold second to Lincoln Falls.Almo Street … well behaved and a bold second to Lincoln Falls.Latta was particularly pleased with Almo Street’s effort for second under Charlotte O’Beirne and not just for the dogged way he fought to the line.

“He’s a horse with a lot of ability and it was great just to see him do everything right again.’’

Almo Street, ordered to trial then banned from the races last September after repeatedly refusing to come out of the barriers, wore a blindfold today and was perfect behind the gates.

“You never know when it’s going to recur but he was really good today and he’d only had a couple of gallops so to run the other horse so close was pleasing.’’

Latta intends lining the horse up at Awapuni on Anzac Day in a rating 72 event over 1200 metres.

Denny’s Lincoln pictured winning his maiden in December, 2017.Denny’s Lincoln pictured winning his maiden in December, 2017.Welcome back Denny

Most pleasing of all the runners today for Latta though was six-year-old Denny’s Lincoln who ran second in his 1000 metre heat, just nabbed late by Allan Sharrock’s London Express.

It was the horse’s first serious hitout since he last raced more than 13 months ago when he hit a tendon in a gallop.

“He gave it a decent whack. There wasn’t a hole but we gave him a long time off.

“He’s had a long slow buildup and is looking good now.

“He’s a big horse who was a slow developer but he’s always shown a bit.’’

Denny’s Lincoln, by Denman out of the Redoute’s Choice mare Come Sunday, was a $220,000 Gold Coast yearling buy and is a half brother to 2017 Victoria Derby winner Ace High.

He raced only three times after scoring his maiden win in December, 2017, and Latta is excited to have him back.

While nutted a head on the line today Latta said Denny’s Lincoln was under a hold by rider Robbie Hannam, while “the other two were pushed out.

“He jumped, sat outside the leader and fought on bravely, beaten by a handy type in London Express short of the line.

“It was a very pleasing trial and I will just see how he progresses before deciding whether to give him another trial or head to the races.’’

Platinum Spirit … all-the-way winner expected to handle wet tracks.Platinum Spirit … all-the-way winner expected to handle wet tracks.Charm Spirit colt Platinum Spirit looked a quick improver when jumping fast and leading all the way in the two-year-old heat over 1000 metres.

“He kept up a strong gallop to score by half a length.

“Robbie said the way he felt he doesn’t think wet tracks will worry him which is handy at this time of the year.’’

Platinum Spirit has raced only once, when fourth of six at Otaki in January.

Platinum Touch was due to line up in the same heat but Latta left her at home when she looked a little off colour this morning. She will go to the jumpouts next week instead.

Lincoln Town … work in progress.Lincoln Town … work in progress.Lincoln Town, an unraced three-year-old by Tavistock, led a five horse maiden heat over 1200m and, despite being attacked form the 600m mark, he railed up and came away to win by a length.

“He’s very much a work in progress. He’s green and Robbie says he’s still learning how to travel and quicken.

“He needs one more trial over more ground so I’ll run him on April 30 at Foxton over 1400 metres.’’

Latta said today’s effort was a big improvement on Lincoln Town’s three unplaced trials last year.

Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

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.”