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Kamanda Lincoln showed with this win at Riccarton that he is a promising stayer but the Auckland Cup could be 12 months too soon. PHOTO: Race Images.

Kamanda Lincoln in the cup but if he doesn’t give the Nathans a shake he won’t be starting

Withdrawals have seen Kamanda Lincoln make the top 18 for the Auckland Cup but he will still have to perform well on Saturday to warrant a start in the race.

At 17 in the rankings, Lincoln Farms’ up-and-coming stayer is now guaranteed a start in the $500,000 March 9 two-miler but trainer Lisa Latta needs to see the horse really step up to even consider racing him three weeks on end.

Kamanda Lincoln has drawn a good gate of four in Saturday’s Nathans Memorial at Ellerslie from where he should have every chance to force his case.

“He’s just starting to get it all together but he will be a better stayer next year,’’ says Latta.

“He’d want to be in or close to the money this week for us to run again next week.

“That would be three weeks in a row and we did that in the Wellington Cup (when ninth).

“He had two weeks in the paddock after Trentham and was a bit above himself last week at Otaki, both in the birdcage and on the track when he over-raced.’’

Kamanda Lincoln was also caught in the worst of the ground on the inner after the track deteriorated to a slow 8 and only battled into fifth, 5.7 lengths from winner Felaar.

“He’s improved with that run but it may be that after Saturday we sit on him for another week until the St Leger at Trentham, as we know he goes well down there.’’

Princess Amelie returns to Ellerslie with trainer Lisa Latta confident she is primed for a better race.Princess Amelie returns to Ellerslie with trainer Lisa Latta confident she is primed for a better race.Latta is tipping a much improved run from Princess Amelie in the $60,000 Mufhasa Stakes, her big advantage a light weight and good draw.

Princess Amelie faces a number of the same horses who beat her soundly last time in the Mongolian Khan Trophy at Ellerslie but Latta says a wide draw that day proved her undoing, even though she was still finding the line when seventh.

“I wouldn’t have taken her up there on Saturday if she’d drawn wide again. She got back and looked pretty lost last time as she’s been on the speed in most of her runs.

“Johnathan (Parkes) also said she didn’t feel like she was totally hitting out.

“But we’ve freshened her legs up a bit - she’s been on the water treadmill and has been back with me for only the last two weeks.

“I’m comfortable with where she’s at and she has a great draw in three which means she will be able to go forward and sit on the speed.

“I feel she is way better in herself than when she stepped out last time and this is a very winnable race for her from the minimum weight.’’

With only 54kg, Parkes cannot make the weight so the filly will be ridden by Chris Johnson.

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