Lincoln’s Girl showed real stamina to win her Pot Of Gold heat over Timeless Appeal.

Lincoln’s Girl and Vasari to boost Al Barnes’ already terrific strike rate for Lincoln Farms

Lincoln’s Girl and Vasari look beautifully poised this weekend to extend an already impressive strike rate for Queensland trainer Al Barnes with Lincoln Farms horses.

Lincoln’s Girl will start a hot favourite in the Pot Of Gold Final at Albion Park on Friday night and Vasari will be at even more restrictive odds on Saturday night, both drawn to jump straight into the driving seat.

Al Barnes … terrific strike rate with Lincoln Farms’ horses.Al Barnes … terrific strike rate with Lincoln Farms’ horses.Barnes is now training four pacers for Lincoln Farms and its partners and his record since the first two arrived at his Marburg stables in February now reads:

  • Trojan Banner: Five starts, five wins
  • Northview Hustler: Two starts, two wins
  • Vasari: Four starts, one win and
  • Lincoln’s Girl: Eight starts, three wins.

That’s an incredible 11 wins from only 19 starters and now that Barnes has Lincoln’s Girl and Vasari worked out, his strike rate can only improve.

Given how dominant Lincoln’s Girl was last week in winning her heat of the Pot Of Gold, we’ll be lucky to get $2 for her to take out the $10,960 final, run at 6.53pm on Friday night.

A perfectly executed drive by Barnes’ son Hayden saw Lincoln’s Girl overcome a second row draw that night, when she clocked a superior 1:54.2 mile rate.

“We’ve got lucky with the draw this time and from four on the front she should roll straight to the top,’’ says the trainer.

Lincoln’s Girl’s main dangers have all drawn the second line, last week’s favourite Cherrys The Best, snookered on the inside and likely to end up three deep, Timeless Appeal, three the second row, and the other much slower heat winner Im No Outlaw outside her.

“Lincoln’s Girl should be able to run home in 55 and that will make it hard for them to catch us.’’

Barnes says Lincoln’s Girl is improving and getting stronger all the time and after Friday he will start educating the filly at a longer trip.

It’s Vasari first, the rest nowhere, as he scorches to a 1:52 mile rate.It’s Vasari first, the rest nowhere, as he scorches to a 1:52 mile rate.Unbackable odds

Vasari, drawn perfectly in the ace on Saturday night, 10.49pm NZ time, meets much higher rated pacers but will be at unbackable odds after his supersonic 1:52 mile rate win last week.

“The horses drawn outside him don’t have the speed to cross him and he’ll lead again and be very hard to beat.’’

Vasari ran one of the fastest miles by a lower graded pacer at Albion Park last week when he clocked 1:55.5 for the 1660 metres, clearing out by 17.6 metres.

“He’s come through that really well,’’ says Barnes. “He’s easy to maintain.’’

While Vasari is a c4 horse in a race that has horses graded up to c9, Barnes says with the right horse and draw, the events are not hard to win.

The only horse in the field that has gone anywhere near Vasari’s 1:52 mile rate is Karinya Mully who clocked a 1:53.7 rate in her last-start win.

The fastest times run by the two horses drawn alongside him are 1:56.8 (Earl Jujon) and 1:56.4 (Oliver Winkle).

Lincoln’s Girl races at 6.53pm NZ time on Friday night.Lincoln’s Girl races at 6.53pm NZ time on Friday night.Vasari races at 10.49pm NZ time on Saturday night.Vasari races at 10.49pm NZ time on Saturday night.

Our runners this week

Saturday night at Albion Park


Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 2: Frisco Bay

“He obviously needed the run last week. He pulled his way round the field and sat outside the leader but he couldn’t cop a run like that first-up and got tired. The ability is there, whether he’s fit enough or not we’ll find out. But I expect him to go well, the three draw is much better than last week.”

Race 2: Lenny Lincoln

“He’ll probably need a race but he’s capable of running a slot. He’s unlucky not to have won a race, all three of his seconds were good. He’s got a bit better with each of his trials this time in and he got home well last Saturday, after coming widest on the turn.”

Race 3: Obadiah Dragon

“The way the race was run at Cambridge last week, his effort wasn’t bad at all. Moni (Monika Ranger) said he felt strong and, if he’d been a few slots closer, he would have been right in it. He’ll be improved for the run.”

Race 3: Leo Lincoln

“He’s very consistent - he’s only missed a couple of cheques. But he’s another just coming back and should improve with the run.”

Dan Costello Race Photography