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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Thursday at Woodville
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“She has drawn perfectly in barrier seven so Robbie (Hannam) should be able to possie up just behind the pace, which is an advantage at Woodville. Her work has been very good since her last run and she should strike the perfect track for her, a dead 5. This is a very even line-up and she should be right in the finish.’’
News in brief
TOP TIP: Trainer Lisa Latta was right on the money about $35 starter Lincoln Hills who ran a terrific fourth in very strong company at Awapuni. “He would have run even closer had he not pulled himself into the ground,” Latta said. Follow him on April 25.
INVADOR HOME: Platinum Invador is back in the country and will go straight to the spelling paddock after failing in the A$2million Australian Derby. Trainer Lisa Latta says in hindsight the three runs in two weeks he had on his NZ Derby camapign left him a tired horse.