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Larry Lincoln … created a big impression with this first-up win at Albion Park. PHOTO: Dan Costello.

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.”

Al Barnes … “we’ll do the right thing by the horse.”Al Barnes … “we’ll do the right thing by the horse.”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.”

Larry Lincoln races at 10.48pm NZ time at Albion Park tonight.Larry Lincoln races at 10.48pm NZ time at Albion Park tonight.Northview Hustler races at 11.10pm NZ time at Albion Park on Saturday night.Northview Hustler races at 11.10pm NZ time at Albion Park on Saturday night.

Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Thursday night at Cambridge

Race 2: Commander Lincoln
6.06pm

“I thought he went quite well last time and he’s a chance of getting some of it. Andrew knows the horse well and, while he’s no champion, he tries hard.”

Race 6: Obadiah Dragon
7.46pm

“I can’t fault how he’s racing and he’s been unlucky several times at Cambridge. Yes, the others are higher graded than him but none of them are stars and most of the time at Cambridge the ones who get the good trips win. From the good draw, absolutely he can win. I wouldn’t like to be laying him.”

Whales Harness