Larry solid chance but Hustler will need the run as he prepares for summer carnival
Larry Lincoln looks a solid top three chance at Albion Park tonight but don’t expect Northview Hustler to feature on Saturday night, says trainer Al Barnes.
Larry Lincoln starts from gate three in the sixth race tonight, the same alley from where he ended up parked 10 days ago, when he weakened to sixth.
And that’s why Barnes says he can’t be too confident of the horse winning.
“I just don’t know how the race will pan out. There are a couple of handy ones inside us so he might get parked again.
“But he will be better for his last run. Hayden said the horse’s fitness gave way - his heart rate afterwards was 115.
“It had been three weeks between runs (while the track was being resurfaced) so he wasn’t as hard as we would have liked.”
In his first start in the state, Larry Lincoln scored a terrific win, doing plenty of work in the running and rating 1:55 for the 1660 metres.
“We’re still learning what we can and can’t do with him but he’ll be competitive tonight and should run top three.
“He’ll get better when we can race him consistently every Tuesday or Friday.”
Hustler will need the run
Northview Hustler resumes from a month’s break in the seventh race on Saturday night, where against state champion Colt Thirty One his six draw is certain to take him out of play.
“He’ll definitely need the hitout,” says Barnes.
“We were going to trial him but we thought he might as well race as they go the same time in a trial, if not faster.
“He’s in good condition but it will take a couple of runs before he gets back to his best.”
Because the Hustler has bad joints - one fetlock in particular - Barnes says the horse has to race into full fitness.
“We just can’t work him as hard as we’d like, especially on our small track, so he’s always going to be a run short after a break.”
Barnes eased up on the horse a month ago when he started to get a few niggles racing on the very hard Albion Park surface. The spell was deliberately timed to coincide with renovation work to the track which was recambered and retopped.
“The softer track now will be good for him but not on Saturday night - that six draw is a killer.
“We either gut him trying to cross them, and be found wanting at the finish, or go back and do the right thing by the horse and look after him.
“He’ll be right by the time the summer carnival starts.”
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Tuesday at Albion Park
Race 8: Man Of Action
7.38pm NZ time
“He’s come through his win last week really well and should run first or second again from another good draw. Soho Tsunami will be a big danger. He’ll get a good trip on our back.”
Friday night at Auckland
Race 1: Apieceoflou
“He’s just been incredibly unlucky - he was knocked over at the start last time - but if things go his way we’ll see a better animal.”
Race 1: Captain Nemo
“If he gets the right trip from five, he’ll be right there at the finish. This is little more than a jumped up maiden race.”
Race 4: Tommy Lincoln
“He’s in a grade now where he can’t get away with being driven like a toe rag all the time and from the second row he’s obligated to have a much more conservative trip. He’ll need a bit of luck but, if he’s not put in the race too soon, he shouldn’t be too far away.”
Race 7: Revitalise
“I’ve scratched him. He’s recovering from a foot abscess.”
Friday night at Melton
Race 1: Make Way
7.33pm NZ time
“He pushed them over the line last week and felt really good - he was only jogging at the finish. The (seven) draw has killed our hopes a bit but you never know …”
Friday at Albion Park
Race 5: Larry Lincoln
10.18pm NZ time
“We’ll drive him quietly on Friday, just hold our position out of the gate, and give him some confidence. It’s not a strong field - it’s a bit of a drop in class on what he’s been racing - and on the times he’s been running in training this week he should be winning.”
Saturday night at Albion Park
Race 3: Northview Hustler
9.48pm NZ time
“His run last week was exceptional. His chances depend on how the race is run. With the one and three horses having gate speed there could be early fireworks, which would suit him, as we’ll probably drive him the same and use his speed late.”
Sunday at Cambridge
Race 6: Bondi Shake
“He would have won had he not galloped close to home last time. He just turned his head to one side when he got alongside that other horse and might have touched a knee. We’ll rectify that by putting two poles on him.”
Monday at Ashburton
Race 5: American Dealer
“From the pole, he should get a perfect trip. It’s hard to know what the others will do but we get out well enough to be handy. He’ll go well but he’s already qualified for the final so there’s no urgency. It would be nice to win it but we don’t have to.”
Race 7: Copy That
“He’s never gone away badly from a stand - he’s always reasonable and safe - so he shouldn’t be far off them when they settle. I see him in midfield. I’m not expecting too much from him. So long as he goes well, I’ll be happy.”