Like mum, improving galloper Father Lenihan looks to have a big mile in him
Father Lenihan only has keep improving to be competitive in a big mile one day like his mum, tips in-form trainer Lisa Latta.
Latta, who claimed a three-win bag for the second weekend on end when Father Lenihan, Last Chance and Five To Midnight scored at Awapuni, likes the way Father Lenihan never stops improving.
And in the O’Reilly four-year-old she sees some of the traits of his dam Platinum Princess, who won a Couplands Mile and Rich Hill Mile for Latta and Lincoln Farms in 2011-12.
“He has her great temperament and always tries hard and like mum he needs wetter tracks.’’
Platinum Princess won the big Riccarton mile on a dead track and it was even worse, a slow 8, when she took the Ellerslie New Year’s Day feature.
“He can hit the ground quite hard on the better tracks but when he gets the right conditions he’s very good. The ground really suited him on Saturday.‘’
Pitted against rating 65 rivals over 1400 metres, Father Lenihan was punched straight to the top by rider Robbie Hannam and, just when it looked like he would be gobbled up, he found a big kick and easily staved off a late burst by One Prize One Goal to score by half a length.
“You just have to find the right track for him, not heavy, but in the slow range.
“While the weather is all over the shop we’ll keep him ticking over. He’ll go in a rating 72 next and we’ll just keep building up his points.
“The way he keeps improving I think he can eventually run in a big mile and he’s obviously at his best when there’s rain around.
“He’s only four and lightly raced. He’s just taken a bit of time to mature physically.”
Father Lenihan was having just his eighth start on Saturday.
Our runners this week
Monday at Otaki
Authentic Charm, Lincoln Fury, Ajay Lincoln, Alesha Lincoln, Port Lincoln, Master Lincoln, Lincoln Dreamer.
Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them
Saturday at Trentham
Race 1: Platinum Mam’selle
“There appears to be a lot of speed in the race which will suit her pattern of racing which is to get back and finish over the top of them. She has trained on well after her unlucky run at Stratford and is back against her own age group on Saturday in a small field.’’
Race 2: Miss Oahu
“It was a very average ride at Hastings last time which saw her caught four wide in the running. She has trained on well and has good gate speed so we will look to go forward and hopefully end up right behind the speed. I am expecting another bold run from her.’’
Race 3: Platinum Invador
“He has come up with another good draw in three and gets in with a nice weight of 56.5kg. He is up another rating band, however, and this field is a lot stronger field than the one he beat at Otaki. I am very happy with the way he has come through that race and also with his work this week.”
Race 6: Lincoln Sky
“He came through last Saturday’s race really well but I want to see how he does over the rest of the week before committing to a start on Saturday. Madan (Singh) said last week that he felt the horse was looking for a mile as he is so laid back.’’
Race 9: Kamanda Lincoln
“Unfortunately he has drawn wide (18) in the Wellington Cup which means we will probably have to ride him for luck, which is always more difficult in these big races. I am happy with where he is at but we are going to need a magical ride from Sam Collett.’’
Race 10: Father Lenihan
“He galloped well yesterday morning but pulled up sore in his near front. He had a pulse in the foot so we poulticed it for 24 hours and the blacksmith came this morning and said he had a bit of bruising. He was about 95% right today and providing we keep on top of it I am reasonably confident we will get him there on Saturday. If he is not 100% he will be scratched.’’
Race 10: Lincoln Raider
“I’ve engaged Leith Innes to ride him and he has freshened up nicely after his Ellerslie run. After watching that race you can see him bounce off the rail two or three times. I think he is a better horse left alone early and given one clear run at them and that is what we will aim to do on Saturday.’’
News in brief
LOST DREAMS: Dreams Of Platinum has been sold to Australia. The four-year-old mare won one race and placed seven times in 21 starts, earning nearly $35,000.
TOUCH FLAT: Rider Robbie Hannam told stewards he thought Platinum Touch was feeling the effects of her debut run and felt flat after beating only two home at Trentham.