Line Up, plugs still in and under a hold, reels in Oaks winner to win Pukekohe workout
Line Up looked in terrific order for the $175,000 Sales Series Final on New Year’s Eve when he dropped from the clouds to win his heat at the Pukekohe workouts today.
Driven quietly from a wide gate by Andre Poutama, Line Up settled in the rear of the 10-horse field and was still four back in the running line with 600 metres to run.
But when Poutama unleashed the smart classy-year-old in the run home he really got into his work wide out, sailing past one rival after another.
At the line he had a half head margin over Northern Oaks winner Best Western, the 2050 metres cut out in 2:33, a mile rate of 2:00.1.
“He felt really good,” said Poutama. “He picked up Best Western like it was nothing.”
Poutama said he could feel Line Up was getting an itchy trigger finger, his gait a little hitchy like he was dying to run.
“I only flicked the reins at him and he was off. If I’d pulled the plugs he’d really have run. But as it was he still went to the line under a hold.”
Poutama clocked Line Up to run his last 400 metres in 27.8.
“But if you don’t use him early I reckon he’d run you a quarter in 26.”
Line Up will get the chance to emerge from under the shadow of Copy That in the sales race on December 31 as his stablemate isn’t eligible and is out having a brief spell.
Line Up has had no luck with the barrier draws since running third to Copy That in the Sires’ Stakes Final at Addington, drawing gates eight and seven in two starts during the Interdominion carnival.
Driver John Dunn was pleased with the effort today of Hampton Banner who led out before trailing stablemate Classie Reactor, then ended up three deep when Gambit took the front.
Hampton Banner made ground solidly in the run home after being carted back by Classie Reactor who found little for driver Andrew Drake.
“He was good, we just followed the wrong one,” said Dunn of Hampton Banner.
Trainer Ray Green said Hampton Banner had a fair bit of potential and would contest the sales race before returning to grade racing where he would be ultra competitive.
Classic Reactor, who ran sixth after a torrid trip in his first race for Green last week, pulled up with a high heart rate today.
Make Way’s half brother Man Of Action, who is preparing for a new campaign, won his maiden heat by a neck - but not without incident.
When no-one else wanted to lead, Poutama took Man Of Action to the front but, just when he looked set for an easy win, he galloped approaching the final bend.
“A horse came alongside us (Jack Ryan) and he galloped for no reason,” said Poutama who got Man Of Action down and pacing quite quickly and recovered to beat Tuscon Tiger for line honours.
“He’s still a bit timid and I think he’s better left-handed than right-handed.”
Green said the family were not natural early runners and he believed Man Of Action would keep developing.
“He’ll win a maiden at Auckland.”
Man Of Action was timed over the 2050 metres in 2:38.2, a mile rate of 2:04.1. He closed in 57.6 and 28.4.
Young Gun two-year-olds Platinum Stride (Poutama) and Captain Nemo (Drake) took on the maidens for some competition and both performed well, finishing third and fourth in what was only a sprint home.
Platinum Stride sprinted up from fifth down the back straight and maintained a strong run to finish just a nose and a neck behind the Tony Herlihy-trained stablemates Sampan and Eagle Eye with one and three-quarter lengths to Captain Nemo.
The heat was run in a sedate 2:41.6, a mile rate of 2:06.9, with the last 800 in 60.2 and 400 in 28.3.
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Unlucky Argyle deserves to be rewarded at Albion Park tonight - just no bad luck please
Ray looking forward to Lincoln Lou and fully oxygenated Frisco Bay at Cambridge on Friday
Why Lincoln Farms had to buy lot 68 - his older brother Lincoln Lou is ready to rock
Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them
Friday night at Cambridge
Race 3: Lincoln Lou
“He’s a beautiful little horse and I’m looking forward to seeing him run. It’s hard to know how good he is, or how far he’ll go, but I guess we’ll find out on Friday. He’s the one to beat from the draw. If he doesn’t win, he won’t be far away.”
Race 5: Commander Lincoln
“I won’t be holding my breath. He tries hard enough but he lacks a bit of high speed.”
Race 8: Onyx Shard
“It’s two and a half months since she last raced, and she didn’t grow as much as I thought she would, but I’m expecting her to go a good race. Her last two trials have been good and she’s pulled up well.”
Race 8: Obadiah Dragon
“He’ll need a good trip from five but he’s not out of it. He went a good race last time at Cambridge and would be as equal a chance as Onxy Shard.”
Race 8: Beaudiene Rocknroll
“It’s heart-in-the-mouth stuff with him until they let them go but he should step away this time. Zac (Butcher) said the gate went particularly slowly before that race and that’s why he got impatient. I thought he did well to recover for third. If he made the front, where he goes best, he’d be hard to beat.”
Race 9: Frisco Bay
“He’s a tidy horse and I’m expecting a big run. We’ve sorted the problem he had with his breathing last season and he’s right in the zone now after a second and a win at the workouts.”
Mark Dux’s comments
Saturday night at Albion Park
Race 5: Argyle
11.02pm NZ time
“It wouldn’t have mattered where he drew this week, he’s in the money, barring bad luck. He’s going terrific and he gets in so well at the ratings.”