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Lincoln Melody home fresh-up at Otaki, paying $19.90. PHOTO: Peter Rubery/Race Images.

Lincoln Melody has good record fresh at Otaki and Benny worth a penny at $41

Even though it will be 12 months to the day since she last raced, trainer Lisa Latta still thinks Lincoln Melody ($11) can get some of the prize money in the fourth race at Otaki on Monday.

The five-year-old Savabeel mare strikes two in-form rivals chasing a Pearl series bonus in Chikaberinda ($2.50) and Just Fabulous ($4.60), but Latta says Lincoln Melody is very fit and has a winning first-up record on the course.

Lincoln Melody has raced only twice since winning at Otaki in October, 2018, Latta unhappy with the way she trialled when brought back in May.

“She went a bit sore in behind last year, nothing major, but we gave her a long spell and she’s come back really well.”

With a trial and jumpout under her belt, Latta is hoping Lincoln Melody can show up in the seven-horse field now that the rain seems to have circuited Otaki.

Track conditions were a dead 5 this morning and with only 2.5 mls expected later in the programme, she could strike perfect dead footing.

Benny Lincoln … improver at long odds.Benny Lincoln … improver at long odds.Of Latta’s remaining four runners for Lincoln Farms, she singles out Benny Lincoln ($41, $7) as the big improver in the seventh race.

Latta says the inexperienced Jimmy Choux three-year-old didn’t have much luck on debut when sixth, hampered at the start then trapped wide on tricky footing at Waipukurau.

“A nice dead track will suit him and he’s been much sharper in his trackwork since I fitted him with blinkers. I expect a much better effort from him.”

Almo Street’s strike rate doesn’t inspire much confidence but he could also outrun his $18 odds in the eighth race.

Now six, Almo Street has raced only 15 times because of barrier issues and the last time he saluted the judge was 18 months ago.

But there was enough merit in his first-up run at Awapuni on December 21, when only 3.6 lengths from the winner, to say he could show something here.

With some rain predicted late in the day, he could also get the slower conditions he likes best.

“He has progressed well since his first-up run, he has a good barrier and, if he can produce his best form, he will be right in the finish.”

Jonathan Riddell will take the reins on Almo Street, Latta hoping that the change won’t backfire after regular rider Charlotte O’Beirne nursed him through his gate issues.

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.”