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Progressive galloper Lincoln Hanover picks himself in the fourth race at Awapuni on Thursday. PHOTO: Royden Williams.

Lincoln Hanover obvious but it’s Lincoln Hills and Almo Street that Lisa really wants to see

With his consistent form line, Lincoln Hanover looks the best chance for Lincoln Farms in the fourth race maiden at Awapuni on Anzac Day.

But it’s the following race which trainer Lisa Latta will be more interested in as the talented Lincoln Hills, enigmatic Almo Street and soon-to-be-retired Miss Oahu clash in a tricky rating 72 event.

Lincoln Hills made such an impression last start on the course when, at odds of $35-to-one in a strong rating 82 race, he pulled himself into the ground yet still ran a brave fourth.

On Thursday he drops back in class and distance, Latta hoping they really clap the pace on over 1200 metres so Lincoln Hills doesn’t race too keenly again.

“He’s drawn out a bit again, in 11, but he shouldn’t pull over 1200 metres.

“He loves the fire just out of the track, which he will get, and he is thriving.’’

Bad boy Almo Street’s been in the wars and he finally makes it back to the races on Anzac Day. PHOTO: Royden Williams.Bad boy Almo Street’s been in the wars and he finally makes it back to the races on Anzac Day. PHOTO: Royden Williams.Latta really likes Lincoln Hills, whom she says works like an open handicapper, and while she rates him a better galloper than Almo Street, she knows that on his game, the long time absentee could upset them all.

The five-year-old will be having his first race for nearly 10 months after his career was shipwrecked by an inability to leave the starting stalls.

Almo Street has raced only twice in the last 19 months after twice being banned for refusing to leave the gates.

Latta has worked hard on the horse at jumpouts and trials and she is hoping he will jump cleanly with the aid of a barrier blindfold, like he has in each of his last three trials for Charlotte O’Beirne.

* In his latest run, at Waverley on April 9, Almo Street behaved perfectly and pushed classy three-year-old Lincoln Falls to a head over 1000 metres.

* Before that, last September, he was only two necks from talented gallopers Hank Moody and Sir Nate at Foxton.

* And he won his previous trial, also at Foxton, a couple of weeks earlier.

With two wins and two seconds from only 10 starts, in most of which he has had to overcome slow beginnings, Almo Street has shown he has “all the ability in the world.’’

“He’s always been a lovely horse but you could never tip him because you don’t know if he’s going to jump out of the gates.

“If he jumped with them he’d be a chance and these autumn tracks will suit him.

“He galloped very well at Awapuni this morning and, while this distance is short of his best, he has a good draw and can run a cheeky race.’’

Miss Oahu, scratched last start after drawing the outside at Hastings, gets the 15 slot on Thursday but Latta says with her gate speed she can go forward and stay out of trouble. “We are starting to run out of suitable tracks, as she doesn’t like it wet, so it could be in her best interests to line up.’’

Hanover logical choice

Lincoln Hanover picks himself in the fourth race, drawn six, and with a third and two seconds to his credit this campaign.

He has led in all three starts, collared a neck last time at Wanganui over 1350 metres and a neck in his previous run over 1400 metres at Wairarapa.

“I have brought him back to 1200 metres as he looks like he has been coming to the end of it over 1400.

“He’s a nice galloper who’s only going to get better with more time. Robbie (Hannam) says he gives him the feel he’s going to get over a bit of ground.

“He won’t mind a bit of cut in the track and this is a winnable race for him.’’

Latta is unsure whether she will start Lincoln Sky from the extreme outside in the eighth race.

On ability Lincoln Sky would be right in the fight - in his last start he ran sixth in the Waikato Guineas.

But Latta says she has options on where to run the three-year-old and she will delay a decision on whether to start until race morning when she sees how many defect.

“It’s a pity he didn’t draw four or five because with a decent trip he’d be in the money.”

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.”