It’s green for go! Hayden models the new silks which he’ll wear behind Hustler on Tuesday
Trainer Al Barnes is stoked that Northview Hustler will be the first horse to carry the new silks he’s designed for his Lincoln Farms team at Albion Park on Tuesday.
What better occasion to unveil the new green strip with white Lincoln Farms’ logo than behind the horse he hopes can make a big impact at the looming Brisbane winter carnival.
It’s hard to make a case for anything to beat the Hustler in the opening race on the card, a c5 to c8 race over 2138 metres.
With a metropolitan grading of M4, he meets a small field of six M0s and, despite starting from the outside of the gate, he will be a raging hot favourite to maintain his unbeaten record in Brisbane.
Barnes reports the Hustler has bounced out of his incredible winning run last Tuesday when he careered away by 16 metres to clock a rare mile rate of 1:53.1 for the 2138 metres.
“He’s super, bright as a button,” says Barnes.
“This is not a hard race for him. Hayden will punch out and if they show him some respect he’ll lead. If not, he’ll sit quietly in the chair and I don’t think that would worry him too much.’’
Hustler’s task was made all the easier today with the scratching of the free-running Pinup Boy who was drawn to contest the early lead.
And Barnes can’t see New South Wales pacer Vettel troubling Hustler in his first run in the state.
“He could be a pest and lead. He’s not a danger of beating us but he might get in the way.’’
Vettel has a fastest mile time of 1:51.5 and scored all the way at Menangle three starts ago in 1:53.
Hustler’s 1:53.1 is easily the fastest mile rate for Tuesday’s distance range, the next best being Vettel’s 1:55.8.
Tuesday’s race will be the last for Northview Hustler until June 22 when he contests the A$31,400 Redcliffe Cup but Barnes is likely to trial the horse there next week to make sure he can handle the tight triangular shaped circuit.
Also headed to the trials, at Albion Park on Tuesday, is Trojan Banner who is unbeaten in five Queensland starts for Lincoln Farms.
Barnes gave Trojan Banner a freshener after his last win on April 23 so as to time his run at the A$100,000 Queensland Derby on July 20.
“He’s come up good as gold but he’ll need the run tomorrow.
‘He’s still not steering that great - he’s a bit tight in the muscles in his neck and across his rump - but he’ll have acupuncture in the next few days.’’
More news in Harness
Hustler nabbed in the shadows but Al says they’ll know he’s alive in the next two weeks
Fox hits the birdies in England while Franco Nandor plays a top round at Alexandra Park
Great job Al, that’s the Hustler we love - and from two Hayden can put him on the front end
Zachary turns on a masterclass, saving his best for Lincoln Farms’ popular boy Tommy
Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them
Thursday night at Auckland
Race 1: Franco Nandor
“From a decent draw this time he’ll be one of the hardest to beat because it’s not a strong field. He lost a lot of muscle and strength when we gelded him but he should do better from now on.”
Race 4: Larry Lincoln
“He’ll lead easily and he’s good in front so he’s a chance to run a hole. But he can’t burn at both ends so it depends on how the race is run and in these junior drivers’ races they can be quite aggressive.”
Race 6: Louie The Punter
“He’s a big, dumb sort but he goes well enough. If he could be put on the front end on a nice steady rhythm I think we’d see a different horse. He just gets a bit lost and awkward in the field and the stop-start racing confuses him.”
Race 6: Apieceoflou
“Second row draws can be good and if Gopati goes out he’d be right in it. He’s come from way back in all his runs and he got held up in the run home last time. He’s developing into a tidy horse.”
Race 7: Tommy Lincoln
“The wide draw shouldn’t worry him - he’ll just mooch forward. It’s pointless for him to go back, his MO is to get rolling. I thought he was travelling easily at the finish last time.”
Race 7: American Dealer
“He’s a little tradesman who never goes a bad race. He’ll need a bit of luck from the draw but you can be sure he’ll be running on strongly at the finish. He was good here last time.”
Race 9: Copy That
“This is his most serious test. It usually takes the top age group horses two or three runs to find their feet against the tough older ones but he’s exceptional and I expect Maurice will have a dab for the front.”
Race 11: Man Of Action
“He’ll be at the mercy of the ones he’s following out but he’s trained super this week and I think he’s a definite chance. He’s improving all the time.”
Race 12: Captain Nemo
“He’s a lovely big horse who’s also on the up. I think he’ll improve on last time here when he got pulling just when he was going to get a good trip and had to come out.”
Saturday night at Albion Park
Race 3: Northview Hustler
8.14pm NZ time
“He ran some terrific sectionals last week coming from the back. He’s improved through the week and I can’t fault him. After his work his heart rate was down to 91, which is a lot better than it’s been. He’s at his best when it’s in the 80s. He’s a live chance and I think we’ll see a different horse on Saturday night.”