Hot trial shows Tommy Lincoln’s back and ready to stake do-or-die claim for ID23

Tommy Lincoln has one chance next week to lift his ranking for the upcoming Interdominion series in Brisbane and a slick trial at Albion Park has given him a glimmer of hope.

Off the scene after being injured in April, Tommy Lincoln languishes in 49th place on the ranking order for ID23, which starts on December 1.

With the final rankings released on November 22, that leaves him just one race to press his case, a $25,000 open 1660 on Saturday week.

And trainer Mark Dux believes the way Tommy trialled at Albion Park on Monday, he is in the right condition to stake a claim, especially considering he could land a favourable draw.

Sent to an early lead off the gate, driver Mathew Neilson then handed up to good performer Make Mine Memphis, before easing off his back round the home turn.

While Tommy couldn’t bridge the gap, he was only 5.2 metres behind at the finish, the official timer crediting the winner with a sizzling 1:50.6 mile rate for the 1660 metres.

Given the heat was run on an off track after rain, and the first half was run in only 60.6 seconds, Dux doesn’t believe the clocking, but nevertheless was very heartened by the effort, and the closing sectionals of 55.1 and 26.9.

“I was really happy with the run - it was his first for nearly seven months - and while he knocked up a little in the straight, he didn’t lose much ground on the winner, who is no slouch.”

Dux now has a tricky decision to make because he knows he has only one crack at impressing the ranking committee so he must have the horse humming on Saturday week.

“I need to show he’s going well because he hasn’t been on the scene for more than six months. If I had an extra two weeks I’d trial him again but I need to race next Saturday night, so I now have to decide whether to trial him again on Tuesday then back him up four days later.

“I’ll see how he trains in the morning then decide. If I’m happy with him he’ll go straight into the race. He can make really good improvement after just one trial.”

Dux says getting into the Interdominion series isn’t the be-all and end-all “but it would be nice if we can as he’s fit and healthy.”

If Tommy could perform well on Saturday week and move even half a dozen places up the rankings he’d be an outside chance of making the final 36, as late defections mount.

Heats for the series are run on December 1, 5 and 9 with the A$500,000 Grand Final on December 16.

Argyle is proving a model of consistency. PHOTO: Dan Costello.Argyle is proving a model of consistency. PHOTO: Dan Costello.Another chance

Meanwhile, Lincoln Farms’ consistent pacer Argyle gets another chance to score in the opening race at Albion Park on Saturday night.

With a win, three seconds and a third in his last five starts, Dux believes Argyle is racing at the top of his game and needs just an ounce of luck to break through.

“There are no superstars in the field and I think he’s a little better than some of the others as you can use him a little in the running, he’s not a weak horse.”

Dux is hoping, however, that the horse doesn’t have to work quite as much as he did last week, when improving three wide to the death before getting a trail.

Argyle still dug in strongly up the straight, beaten just a head and 2.5 metres over the 2138 metres.

On Saturday he drops back to 1660 metres and Dux says he could get a nice run through from the back row behind good beginner Rock Supreme.

“If Rock Supreme led and got it easy he could run a really good last half and be hard to beat.

“But I’m really happy with Argyle and he’s right up to winning.”

Our runners this week

Friday night at Auckland

Saturday night at Albion Park

Tommy Lincoln, Argyle.

Dan Costello Race Photography