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Lincoln King, outer, doing his best work late for Danielle Johnson near the finish of the Dunstan Final at Ellerslie.

Lincoln King bounces out of Dunstan Final and set for consolation at Ellerslie on Sunday

Lincoln King should pick up some consolation for narrowly missing out on the major purse in the Dunstan Stayers’ Final by winning at Ellerslie on Sunday.

Lincoln King finished little more than a length away in the $100,000 New Year’s Day feature at Ellerslie but the $2500 he earned for fifth should really have been at least $9500 or $19,500, if not the $60,000 winner Paisley Park collected.

Lincoln King was winding up nicely halfway down the straight when he ran in and was involved in a bumping duel with Opie Bosson on favourite Swords Drawn, an incident which saw rider Danielle Johnson later suspended for seven riding days for careless riding.

Lincoln King runs in and bumps Swords Drawn 250 metres from home in the Dunstan Final at Ellerslie.Lincoln King runs in and bumps Swords Drawn 250 metres from home in the Dunstan Final at Ellerslie.“Bumping with the other horse definitely cost him momentum,” said trainer Stephen Marsh. “There was a bit of tactical riding there by Danielle who didn’t want to let the hot favourite out, and he should have finished a lot closer.”

Once balanced again Lincoln King hit the line hard, finishing just half a length, a head, half a length and a head from the winner, recording the third fastest last 600 in the race of 34.44.

It continued the renaissance of the late maturing five-year-old whose only down-the-track run this campaign was when running into a brick wall at Te Aroha last October when full of running.

Lincoln Farms’ John Street, left, and Ian Middleton listen to rider Danielle Johnson’s report on Lincoln King after the Dunstan Final.Lincoln Farms’ John Street, left, and Ian Middleton listen to rider Danielle Johnson’s report on Lincoln King after the Dunstan Final.Marsh says he was going to give the horse a little break after his Grand Final but he came through the run so well he decided to press ahead.

“Even with top weight on Sunday he should win,” says Marsh of Lincoln King who has drawn nicely in five in a small 10-horse field.

Lincoln King has 59.5kg, only 1kg more than he carried to win at Te Aroha in November and he has proven he likes Ellerslie, having beaten a good field on the course three starts back over Sunday’s 2100 metres.

With Johnson suspended until after Tuesday, Jason Waddell takes the mount.

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

Saturday at Trentham

Race 3: Lincoln Raider

“He has come through his last run at Awapuni well and meets a handy line up with Sinarahma, who beat us last time, the danger. While the inside is not an ideal draw for him we have one of the best aboard in Opie Bosson and I’m sure he’ll find a path through them. This race looks well within his capabilities and he will enjoy being back on the roomy track where he has won three of his four races.”

Race 6: Platinum Road

“He won his first race here in December and ran a top third at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day. He has pleased me with how he has come through the trip away and I’m very happy with him. He gets in on the minimum weight of 54kg and meets a field of older horses that has some form in it. But this race fits in well with his derby programme and I’m expecting another top run from him.”

Race 9: Kamanda Lincoln

“I’ve changed his gear and gone back to the ring bit. I’ll be instructing Darryl (Bradley) to try to get handier to them as he’s been giving the opposition too big a start. Over 3200 metres there’s no reason why he can’t be closer. He ran ninth in the cup last year after starting from barrier 17 so I think the better draw is the key to his chances. He gets in on the minimum of 53kg.”

Race 9: Johnny Lincoln

“He’s been running very honest races and keeps grinding away so I feel the distance will suit him. He has continued to please me in training and, while I would have preferred a better draw, we will look to roll forward with him and hopefully Robbie (Hannam) can get a nice spot. These races are won by horses who can run out the 3200 metres strongly and I am really looking forward to seeing how he performs.”

Race 10: Lincoln Star

“I have brought him back in distance after his last run over a middle distance on Boxing Day. He has drawn well and should be able to get a nice, economical trip in midfield. The big track will suit him and has run some very good races over 1600 metres so, if he can reproduce his best form, he is capable of being right in the finish. His recent work has been good.”

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

Monday at Otaki

Race 3: Lincoln Town

“He was disappointing in his jumpout when ridden in behind. His trackwork since has been only fair but he is an average track worker anyway who only does as much as he has to. All his form has been on rain-affected tracks so we will see on Monday whether he can go on top of the ground.”

Race 5: Benny Lincoln

“He ran a cracking race last time at Otaki and will appreciate the step-up to 1600 metres. He will also be against his own age group here. His work has been good and this looks a very winnable race for him.”

Race 6: Lincoln Lane

“He’s first-up after a long break but has improved a lot since his jumpout and has a good draw to use. I will be happy to just see him doing his best work at the finish.”

Race 7: Master Lincoln

“He ran a very good fourth when resuming and has trained on very well since. He has an awkward gate to overcome but it’s only a moderate field. Any give in the track will help his chances as his best form appears to be on dead surfaces.”