How do they beat the speedy Frankie Major on Friday? - Check out his 26 workout quarter
Frankie Major is poised to collect his first winner’s cheque at Auckland on Friday night - and the opening odds are a tasty $2.50.
Lincoln Farms’ speedy pacer was entered for the two-year-old race, which was cancelled for lack of numbers, and has ended up in a very weak maiden field.
And with six out-of-form rivals, only one of which has run a placing (on the grass at Hawera), it’s hard to see the Art Major colt beaten.
“He’s a serious chance all right,” says trainer Ray Green. “He’s not short of ability and has a bit of class.”
Frankie Major showed that on debut, when he led easily from the gate and was nosed out by the talented Seve right on the line.
Even his second Young Guns run had merit, as he sat parked and still finished only three lengths from Merlin, Seve and Sooner The Bettor, three of the best youngsters in the north.
Green says you can forget his last run, when sixth behind the same trio on March 4 as he, along with many in the team, was under the weather with a virus.
“They were all pretty sick at the time but he’s bounced back well.”
Green says Frankie Major is going so well he finds it hard to get a sit behind the horse in training.
But it was there for all to see at the Pukekohe workouts on April 9 when he rushed home for Zachary Butcher to beat stablemate Colonel Lincoln over a mile in 2:01.8, clocked over his last 400 metres in a stellar 26 dead.
“He’s got a bit of speed and there are no Seves or Merlins to run against this time.”
The main danger to Frankie Major looks to be Ohoka Creed who finished only 1.6 lengths behind Falcons Watch last start after being badly held up in the run home.
The only unknown quantity, Ross Paynter’s pole runner You Little Beauty, was unplaced in three workouts before doing his best work late for third in a qualifying trial after swinging very wide on the home turn.
Three-year-old Argyle, who contests the fourth race, doesn’t have the speed of his stablemate Frankie Major.
“He’s not a very fast horse so the sit-and-sprint race last time didn’t suit him.”
Fresh-up on April 8, Argyle enjoyed a perfect trail, but was left in the wake of Nicky Chilcott’s impressive Falcons Watch in the run home, only battling into sixth.
“They just went too slow for him and roared up the straight. He likes to be out and rolling along a bit.”
Green says Argyle, nicely drawn in three, has trained on reasonably well since.
“I wouldn’t be going out and getting a loan to back him but he’s a chance of getting some of it if things go his way.”
The stable’s third runner, Riverman Sam, has only five rivals in the final race but will surely be the outsider of the field with his bleak form line.
In his first start for Green on April 8, Riverman Sam paced roughly and ran last of six.
“He had the two hole trip and couldn’t take advantage of it which surprised me as he feels such a nice horse to drive.
“But it was his first run back for a while so we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.”
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Friday night at Cambridge
Race 3: Lincoln Lou
“He’s a beautiful little horse and I’m looking forward to seeing him run. It’s hard to know how good he is, or how far he’ll go, but I guess we’ll find out on Friday. He’s the one to beat from the draw. If he doesn’t win, he won’t be far away.”
Race 5: Commander Lincoln
“I won’t be holding my breath. He tries hard enough but he lacks a bit of high speed.”
Race 8: Onyx Shard
“It’s two and a half months since she last raced, and she didn’t grow as much as I thought she would, but I’m expecting her to go a good race. Her last two trials have been good and she’s pulled up well.”
Race 8: Obadiah Dragon
“He’ll need a good trip from five but he’s not out of it. He went a good race last time at Cambridge and would be as equal a chance as Onxy Shard.”
Race 8: Beaudiene Rocknroll
“It’s heart-in-the-mouth stuff with him until they let them go but he should step away this time. Zac (Butcher) said the gate went particularly slowly before that race and that’s why he got impatient. I thought he did well to recover for third. If he made the front, where he goes best, he’d be hard to beat.”
Race 9: Frisco Bay
“He’s a tidy horse and I’m expecting a big run. We’ve sorted the problem he had with his breathing last season and he’s right in the zone now after a second and a win at the workouts.”
Mark Dux’s comments
Saturday night at Albion Park
Race 5: Argyle
11.02pm NZ time
“It wouldn’t have mattered where he drew this week, he’s in the money, barring bad luck. He’s going terrific and he gets in so well at the ratings.”