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Lincoln Falls, second from left, races into second behind Start Wondering at today’s Awapuni trials. PHOTO Royden Williams.

Lincoln Falls sets hearts racing with dazzling turn of speed at the trials

Lincoln Falls got the heart racing of even the commentator with the stylish way he trialled at Awapuni today.

It wasn’t hard for Justin Evans to pick up Lincoln Farms’ classy Dundeel colt as he started his run from the rear when shaken up 300 metres from home.

Johnathan Parkes takes Lincoln Falls out today. He will ride the colt at Trentham on Saturday week. PHOTO: Royden Williams.Johnathan Parkes takes Lincoln Falls out today. He will ride the colt at Trentham on Saturday week. PHOTO: Royden Williams.“Look at Lincoln Falls let down, he’s really starting to accelerate,” said Evans as the colt easily reeled in all but one of his rivals, 2017 Sprinter of the Year Start Wondering.

In his first serious hitout since being spelled in early October, when feeling his shins, Lincoln Falls, a one-race winner, tackled the open 1000 metre heat.

Taken back to the rear by Johnathan Parkes, Lincoln Falls was content to tootle along three lengths last as speedy galloper Blondlign, winner of her last two starts, led at a good clip and Start Wondering trailed.

But when pulled widest soon after turning for home, and asked to run, Lincoln Falls showed a rare turn of foot to run past three of his six rivals within 100 metres.

And while he was still a length and a quarter behind Start Wondering at the finish, he was eased down all of 150 metres out, not asked for his best. Start Wondering ran the heat in a solid 60.94, good going in the slow 8 conditions.

Johnathan Parkes knows how good Start Wondering is … he’s pictured here bringing the top sprinter back to scale.Johnathan Parkes knows how good Start Wondering is … he’s pictured here bringing the top sprinter back to scale.It was a sterling trial given Start Wondering is the winner of 11 races, three in Australia, and $720,000, and has won the Railway Handicap, run a nose second in the Telegraph and taken two Te Rapa weight-for-age sprint features.

That the colt could take lengths off Start Wondering in the run home augurs well for his planned resumption at Trentham on Saturday week when he will tackle a $30,000 three-year-old race over 1400 metres. Trainer Lisa Latta says she is hoping the track is off there too given the way Lincoln Falls loved the conditions today.

Latta was delighted with the effort and reported the colt blew quite heavily after the race and blew up over the back, all signs he would improve markedly with the run.

“He was a little way off them turning in and made up nice ground behind a Group I sprinter. But, best of all, was how he was so relaxed. Last time in he could run on fear a little but Parkesy said when he jumped today and wanted to go a bit keenly, he took hold and the horse dropped the bit straight away and was lovely and relaxed.

“That’s what we want to see because we’re looking to get him up over ground this campaign.”

The performance comes just two days after another Dundeel colt, Cutadeal, cleared maidens in impressive fashion at Te Rapa. He was immediately reeled in to $16 on the early fixed odds market for the Vodafone New Zealand Derby in March, the same price quoted early today for Lincoln Falls.

The colt, who was the subject of an offer of $1 million before he even started racing, created headlines with his impressive first-up win at Woodville in September and was shin sore when pipped a head in his only other run at Hastings in October.

Latta was happy enough with the run of stablemate Platinum Mam’selle for fifth in the same heat given her dislike of wet ground.

“She came through the middle after straightening but battled in the ground and also came to the end of her run at the 200m mark.

“She did quite well in her three weeks off so this trial will tidy her up quite nicely. I’ll run her at Wellington as well providing the track is ok.”

Lincoln Hills, centre, fighting out the finish at the trials today. PHOTO: Royden Williams.Lincoln Hills, centre, fighting out the finish at the trials today. PHOTO: Royden Williams.Four-year-old Lincoln Hills showed he had continued to progress when a close-up fourth in the other open heat over 1000 metres.

In his third trial this time in, he trailed fourth on the rails and responded well for rider Tim Johnson when pushed up to dispute the lead halfway down the straight.

He was in a line of four across the track until he came to the end of his run 50 metres out and Abbey Road swished past to beat Sweepstake and Dark Princess. Lincoln Hills finished less than two lengths from the winner in fourth.

“He’s been a shade disappointing but has been better this time in and he had a good blow afterwards today. He likes a bit of rain around and we’ll look to run him at Trentham next week.”

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Stephen Marsh

Stephen’s comments

Wednesday at Matamata

Race 5: Bush Whacked

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

Thursday at Otaki

Race 2, 4: Lincoln Sky

“I’ve put him in two races, one over 1200 metres and the other 1400 metres and will wait to see what the weather does before deciding which race to run in. If the rain arrives we will line him up in the 1200. He ran a good race when resuming at Wanganui and I have been happy with his progress since.’’

Race 6: Platinum Invador

“Unfortunately he has come up with an outside draw again. He ran a big race at Trentham from a wide gate in a far stronger field. A lot of rain is forecast on Wednesday night though so the bad draw may be negated come race time. He galloped very well this morning and I expect him to be right in it.’’

Race 8: Alesha Lincoln

“Her recent work has been good enough and we have a nice draw to use. Being by Alamosa, it suggests any rain will not worry her. I am looking forward to her debut.’’

Saturday at Awapuni

Race 1: Miss Oahu

“I’ve chosen to start her up a rating band to get some weight relief and she gets in with only 54.5kg. She has really improved since her first-up run and her coat looks far better now. I expect a bold run from her, especially with the one draw to use.’’

Race 2: Platinum Touch

“She’s come up with the outside draw so if it doesn’t rain I will probably scratch her and go to New Plymouth on December 27. Her work has been good and I am happy with her heading into her debut.”

Race 5: Johnny Lincoln

“He’s drawn one from the outside but if he can get any luck in the running he’ll be very hard to beat. I am very happy with him and he has trained on well.’’

Race 8: Father Lenihan

“He’s had no luck with barrier draws and the trend continues on Saturday where he has drawn the outside. He has good gate speed however so we will look to go forward. The forecasted rain will help him and hopefully the track ends up in the dead range. He has continued to please me since his last run at Trentham.’’

Lincoln light

News in brief

Platinum Mam’selle, arrowed, flew late to be beaten a head and long neck.

Platinum Mam’selle, arrowed, flew late to be beaten a head and long neck.

MAM’SELLE MASSIVE: Platinum Mam’selle clocked 34.59, easily the fastest last 600 metres in her race at Awapuni on Saturday when she flew from last at the 200 metre mark to get up for third, just a head and a long neck from winner All In Mana. Those who followed trainer Lisa Latta’s advice collected a $4.50 place dividend.

INVADOR UNLUCKY: Platinum Invador ($52) ran only ninth at Trentham but was dead unlucky. He settled at the rear after jumping awkwardly then was held up entering the home straight and did not get clear until 100 metres out when he rocketed home to be just 2.6 lengths from the winner.

PORT’S FORGIVE RUN: Port Lincoln did well to finish less than three lengths from the winner at Waipukurau. He was held up for a distance near the 500 metres then ran up onto heels passing the 300 metres, having to be angled outwards to get clear.

BUSH BAFFLER: Trainer Stephen Marsh will be trying a few different training tactics with Bush Whacked, including some jumping, to try to switch the horse on. He travelled strongly on the pace until the turn at Avondale but quickly raised the white flag.

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.

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.