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.
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Our runners this week
Tuesday at Waipa
Bush Whacked (not starting).
Friday at New Plymouth
Saturday at Awapuni
Sunday at Te Rapa
News in brief
FALLS TO TRIAL: Exciting three-year-old Lincoln Falls will trial at Awapuni next Tuesday in preparation to resume racing at Trentham on December 8. Trainer Lisa Latta says she is very happy with the horse’s progress and he is much more relaxed around the stables this time in.
DERBY DREAM: Trainer Lisa Latta has nominated six Lincoln Farms’ three-year-olds for the $1 million New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie on March 2 - Lincoln Falls, Lincoln Lane, Ajay Lincoln, Lincoln Fury, Lincoln Hanover and Platinum Invador. Latta has also entered 2000 Guineas placegetter Sir Nate.
ANOTHER HIT: Trainer Stephen Marsh is having no luck with Bush Whacked. Marsh will scratch the horse from Waipa on Tuesday, after he drew very wide, and save him for Te Rapa on Sunday. The horse had to be late scratched from New Plymouth earlier this month after hitting himself in the float.
GAL HAD NO FAVOURS: Lincoln’s Gal ran only eighth at Otaki but had no favours. She began awkwardly, settling back, then raced in restricted room passing the 100 metres when runners either side shifted ground.
VOLOS BLOWS IT AGAIN: Platinum Volos did another Chautauqua impersonation when he refused to come out of the gates at Awapuni despite wearing pacifiers and a barrier blanket. The grey will now have to trial on multiple occasions before being allowed to race again.
ALMO OUT FOR SPELL: Almo Street’s much awaited racetrack return, with the aid of a blindfold to help him jump out of the gates, has been put on hold. Trainer Lisa Latta says the normally good trackworker has been decidedly average in his last two gallops and, after nearly a year in work sorting out his problems, is simply over the top.