Hot-headed Lincoln’s Girl best of the B team at Cambridge but the start is all-important
B team leader Lincoln’s Girl looks the only Lincoln Farms’ runner likely to get a shout at Cambridge on Friday night.
While the often fiery filly has the ace draw and her favoured left-handed track to suggest she might get some of the money, neither maidens Vinibaka nor debutant Mathew James have shown enough to warrant even a gold coin.
With the best of the stable’s runners having a week off after some intensive racing, it is left to Lincoln’s Girl to fly the Lincoln green colours.
And trainer Ray Green suspects just how well she does will depend on how fast she leaves the arm.
She has only six rivals in the ninth race and has enough gate speed to lead but driver Zachary Butcher will be hesitant to fully gun the filly after she broke before the dispatch last start at Auckland when looking to utilise the same inside possie.
“That’s the first time she’d done that,’’ says Green. “I think the driver probably just asked her to do too much.
“Sometimes the one draw is not the best - you can be slingshotted by horses going faster outside you - but she will go better if she can hold up.
“She doesn’t have to lead but she can be a hot silly thing,’’ says Green of Lincoln’s Girl who over-raced in the one-one when fresh-up at Cambridge last month.
“If she leads you’d have to think she’d be right there at the finish.’’
Green says Lincoln’s Girl seems to go her best races left-handed, just like her older brother Lincoln Road, and has a good turn of speed.
While she drops in company from a very strong field last time at Auckland, when On The Cards clocked a hot 3:19.4 for the 2700 metres, she is still at a disadvantage in the ratings against horses like four-race winner Prime Silver and six-race winner Fleeting Grin.
Manawatu next stop
While punters might be tempted to empty out on a Lincoln Farms’ Bettor’s Delight debutant, who cost $120,000 at the sales, Green doesn’t recommend you take the risk on Mathew James in race four.
The horse looks the part, and is from the Black Watch family, but none of his six workouts and trials have set the heart racing, and Butcher drove him very hard when second to Red Atom in his last one.
“I’d be surprised if he got any of the money,’’ says Green. “He’s managed to qualify but he hasn’t displayed much ability and hasn’t improved a lot.
“We all know Bettor’s Delights can lift their game when they go to the races but I wouldn’t be recommending him as a betting proposition.’’
Green says Mathew James will get his chance when he goes down to the next Manawatu meeting and that looks to be the best place for stablemate Vinibaka to earn some money as well.
Vinibaka starts from the inside of the second row in the sixth race on Friday night and, rather than harming his prospects, Green says it might actually help him.
“He has got some ability as a maiden. But we’ve learned he can’t burn the candle at both ends. He has high gate speed but he hasn’t responded well to being burned early.’’
That’s what driver David Butcher did last start at Auckland when he punched forward off the gate to lead but Vinnie was a stuffed sausage before the 400 metre mark and ran last. Winner Belle Of Montana ran a pretty sedate 2:45 for the 2200 metres.
“He’s honest and he tries hard but his motor isn’t big enough,’’ says Green who endured plenty of pain educating the horse.
“His only chance is to follow out whoever, do nothing, and hopefully have something to come and go on in the last 400 metres.
“That would give him some chance but I won’t be holding my breath.’’
Vinibaka ran fourth on his last visit to Cambridge, sitting parked for the last lap, and coming to the end of his run 200 metres out, only battling into fourth.
More news in Harness
Our runners this week
Thursday night at Manawatu
Lincoln’s Girl, Vinibaka.
Friday night at Auckland
Northview Hustler, Recco Lover, Make Way, Trojan Banner.
Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them
Tuesday at Manawatu
Race 6: Lincoln’s Girl
“You’d have to be a little bit confident and on paper you’d be disappointed if she didn’t get some of it. The drop in class will help her immensely but she really needs to lead.’’
Race 8: Vinibaka
“If he leads, which he should because he has good gate speed, he’ll be hard to catch. The 2000 metres will help him and his opposition is not that good.”
News in brief
HUSTLER BACK: Northview Hustler is bouncing after his Canterbury campaign and will race at Auckland on Friday night. He is the class horse of the mobile 1700 metre event, a rating 93 horse in a rating 69 to 93 race and as such will have to run from the outside of the gate.
SNOTTY NOSE: Lincoln Farms’ owned Vasari had an excuse for running last behind former Kiwi Italian Delight in his first start at Menangle last week. He pulled up with a snotty nose and has been put on a course of antibiotics.
RUPERT UNBEATEN IN OZ: Rupert Of Lincoln made it two from two since being sold to Australia when he scored at Swan Hill in Victoria. His time of 2:06.8 for the mobile 1750 metres represented a mile rate of 1:56.6.
SPRING IN STEP: Spring Campaign is proving a good buy for his Australian connections. Since being sold by Lincoln Farms he has won four races at Albion Park in Brisbane.
BLUE GLORY GONE: Lincoln Farms has sold Blue Glory to Queensland in a package deal with Lincoln Road. The American Ideal filly raced only twice here, winning on debut at Cambridge.