Governor’s Bay powers up the passing lane to nab Rocknroll Rod at Alexandra Park. PHOTO: Joel Gillan/Race Images.

Just when you need it, up steps the Governor - but the hulk has his issues too

Lincoln Farms’ trainer Ray Green could not have timed better the return to form of incredible hulk Governor’s Bay at Alexandra Park.

Within minutes of the former southerner striking first-up for Green on Friday night, he was on the phone enjoying a congratulatory call from Australian owner Merv Butterworth.

Just one day earlier Green had the unenviable task of telling Butterworth that his reinvigorated pacer Zealand Star almost certainly has cracked a pastern.

Initial tests when Zealand Star suddenly went lame on Tuesday suggested he had injured a stifle.

But a second round of X-rays, this time by Christchurch vet Lindsay Colwell, now point to a hairline fracture of the pastern.

Zealand Star in winning form at Cambridge. He has a suspected hairline fracture of the pastern. PHOTO: FokusPhotography.Zealand Star in winning form at Cambridge. He has a suspected hairline fracture of the pastern. PHOTO: FokusPhotography.“It’s not confirmed,’’ says Green. “It’s difficult to get a good picture but Lindsay is confident that’s the problem. She’ll X-ray it again in a couple of weeks.

“It’s only a hairline fracture - if it had been a clean break we’d have been in trouble - so it’s not terrible, it’s more inconvenient.’’

Zealand Star, a recent track record-breaker at Cambridge, now faces time out to allow the bone to mend but Governor’s Bay can more than carry the torch judging by his tenacious finish from the trail to nab leader Rocknroll Rod on the post.

But Green will need Colwell’s skills to help him get the best out of Governor’s Bay too because while his win might have looked clinical, driver Zachary Butcher came back to scale with aching arms after the horse locked on one rein virtually throughout.

“He’s not the soundest horse in the world,’’ says Green.

“It doesn’t matter which way round he goes, he hangs to the right.

“They tried to find the cause of it down south and couldn’t but I’m sure Lindsay will be all over it next time she comes up.

“We need to get him better next time but, if we can sort his problems, he could be a nice horse with a handy future.’’

Governor’s Bay again had a good blow after Friday night’s race, his first for Green, indicating he’s not yet at full fitness.

But he still clocked a solid 2:42.8 for the 2200 metres, closing in 57.5 and 28.7 to score by a head.

It was the first win by the giant five-year-old son of Rocknroll Hanover for more than a year and his first in five starts for Butterworth.

Our runners this week

Saturday night at Albion Park


Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 2: Frisco Bay

“He obviously needed the run last week. He pulled his way round the field and sat outside the leader but he couldn’t cop a run like that first-up and got tired. The ability is there, whether he’s fit enough or not we’ll find out. But I expect him to go well, the three draw is much better than last week.”

Race 2: Lenny Lincoln

“He’ll probably need a race but he’s capable of running a slot. He’s unlucky not to have won a race, all three of his seconds were good. He’s got a bit better with each of his trials this time in and he got home well last Saturday, after coming widest on the turn.”

Race 3: Obadiah Dragon

“The way the race was run at Cambridge last week, his effort wasn’t bad at all. Moni (Monika Ranger) said he felt strong and, if he’d been a few slots closer, he would have been right in it. He’ll be improved for the run.”

Race 3: Leo Lincoln

“He’s very consistent - he’s only missed a couple of cheques. But he’s another just coming back and should improve with the run.”

Whales Harness