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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

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

Saturday at New Plymouth

Race 7: Platinum Volos

“It’s not an ideal race for him and I’m a bit worried about the 1400 metres. We’ll have to ride him back last and look for runs through them to give him the chance to see the distance out.”

Al Barnes

Al’s comments

Saturday at Kilcoy

Race 5: Lincoln’s Command
4.59pm NZ time

“He looks fantastic and his work has been good. Kilcoy is a very tight track and you need to be up front so we’ll be going foreward even from the wide draw. We rode him back last time and it didn’t work as he’s too one-paced.”