Lights, camera, action … Steam Punk is ready to bang heads on Friday night

Trainer Ray Green has new recruit Steam Punk all dressed up and ready to take the stage judging by his smart workout at Pukekohe yesterday.

The McArdle three-year-old, who was sent north to Lincoln Farms by Australian owner Merv Butterworth a couple of weeks ago, had his second spin round Pukekohe, driver Zachary Butcher opening the pipes a little more.

Asked to go forward off the gate in the 2050 metre workout, Steam Punk had no trouble taking the lead and he kept up a good clip throughout.

The gelding was hotly challenged up the home straight by the Tony Herlihy-trained filly Golden Quest and the pair went to the line locked together, commentator Cameron Shaw unable to split them.

Golden Quest got the nod and the pair were credited with a time of 2:39.6, a mile rate of 2:05.2, with closing sectionals of 59 and 27.7.

“He could have gone faster than that if Zac had wanted him to because he said he was just sitting on him at the finish,’’ says Green.

“Zac said he was perfect, he drove beautifully.

“He’s got it all, he’s a really nice little animal who does everything terrifically. It just remains to be seen how big the engine room is now.’’

Green will nominate Steam Punk for the Auckland meeting on Friday night and, without knowing the opposition and draw, expects he will be hard to beat.

Merv Butterworth with trainer-driver Kerryn Manning and New Zealand and Hunter Cup winner Arden Rooney.Merv Butterworth with trainer-driver Kerryn Manning and New Zealand and Hunter Cup winner Arden Rooney.Green took delivery yesterday of a second package from Butterworth, one of Australia’s biggest owners, in the form of the five-year-old mare Zealand Star.

Winner of three of her 20 starts, the Washington VC mare is on an awkward mark and Butterworth told Green there were precious few opportunities for her down south.

Zealand Star won three races when in the care of Brett Gray and, last time from Lauren Pearson’s quarters, she ran an improver’s fourth to Run Boy Run at Wyndham, coming from last and widest on the home turn.

“She’s a lovely big, black horse,’’ says Green. “We’ll know more about her by the end of the week but she looks a really nice type.

“Brent Barclay, who’s driven her, says she shouldn’t have any trouble going right-handed. But we’ll trial her that way first before we go to the races just to make sure.’’

Lincoln Farms has sold Butterworth a number of horses who have gone on to forge successful careers, perhaps explaining why the big spending owner is now placing horses in their care.

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.”

Race Images - Harness