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.’’
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Friday night at Auckland
Race 1: The Empress
“She’s very capable of winning but you couldn’t label her. But she’d have to be very unlucky not to get some of it.”
Race 3: Lindi Lincoln
“She went quite nicely at the workouts last Saturday but she’ll probably need a race to tighten her up. It’s not a great field but the draw (outside front row) isn’t ideal.”
Race 5: Line Up
“I’m confident Line Up can beat Henry Hu who puts in some terrible steps around the corners. He’d have to do plenty wrong to get beaten.”
Race 5: Bettor My Dreamz
“He’s back in the right grade and will be right there with a trip, but he’ll need a perfect trip to have any chance of beating Line Up.”
Race 7: Copy That
“He’s the best horse in the field without a doubt - it just depends on what passage he gets from that draw, but if he gets a good trip I can’t see anything beating him.”
Race 9: Double Or Nothing
“I think he’ll run just as well as usual. The draw’s not great but he doesn’t have to lead to go well - he can go back if David wants to.”
Saturday night at Albion Park
Race 5: Northview Hustler
10.08pm NZ time
“I’ll go back and save him for one sprint from the 300. It’s hard to predict where he’ll finish driving like that but the field is a bit weaker than last time with Watch Pulp Fiction not in and the step-up to 2138 metres will definitely favour us.”