Line Up will be saved for a late charge to try to break All Stars’ stranglehold on the Sales race
Expect top horseman Anthony Butt to save Line Up ($8) for a late charge in Tuesday’s $200,000 PGG Sales Series Final at Alexandra Park.
Drawn awkwardly in six, that’s about the only way trainer Ray Green can see his runner downing the All Stars’ favourites, with One Change ($1.50) drawn perfectly in two and stablemate Smooth Deal ($2.80) right on his back.
“He could lead if we wanted but it would cost him,” says Green. “Last time he led but he had to really burn to get across.”
“Those other horses will come off your back and if you’re not full of running, you’ll get nothing
“But he’s much more potent with a sit. Given a softer trip, he’ll get home a lot better.”
Line Up showed just how fast he is when saved up, winning his heat at the Pukekohe workouts eight days ago coming from near last with a sustained showing of power.
Green says it will be up to Butt to secure a trip for the horse and see if he can get over the top of them.
“He just needs a bit of luck and if he gets it, he’s good enough to beat them.”
While Green’s top three-year-old Copy That easily withstood a late challenge from One Change in the Alabar Classic, the Purdon/Rasmussen charge was excellent on the clock, coming from last with a final mile in 1:54.4, and closing in 54.6 and 27.1.
The All Stars, which also has a third runner in Flying Even Bettor ($21) in the race, has won the Sales Series Final for the last six years with Ultimate Sniper, Chase Auckland, Ultimate Machete, Lazarus, Have Faith In Me and Isaiah.
Green’s second runner Hampton Banner ($81), while promising, will struggle to compete with the favourites but Green says with the right trip from gate five he could get a cheque.
Hampton Banner finished 11 lengths behind Copy That in the Alabar, albeit crowded for some distance on the home turn.
Lincoln Farms’ two starters in the five-horse Young Guns heat are given little chance by the bookies with Platinum Stride at $34 and Captain Nemo at $81.
But while the impressive southerner Krug ($1.65) starts from the pole and the All Stars’ First Class ($2) is in two, Green believes Platinum Stride will be competitive.
“He’s got a bit of speed and he wasn’t quite as screwed down as the others were for the first heat when he ran fourth.
“The trouble with these small fields is they usually walk and sprint up the straight, and nobody comes out to force the issue.”
While completely overawed on debut last time, Green says Captain Nemo is much better than he showed.
“Zac probably left a bit too hard with him thinking he would lead and he’s not experienced enough to handle that sort of pressure yet. He won’t be leaving the gate this time.
“He’ll go for a decent rest once this is over. He’s a big, rangy horse who needs to strengthen up.”
Green’s fifth runner Ace Commander ($26) strikes a good field, including Tickle Me Pink ($1.95), in the fifth race but has the advantage of starting off the front tape.
“I’d love to see him on the front end as he’d be dangerous from there,” says Green.
“But if he’s in the money I’ll be happy. He’s going well and his turn will come.”
Ace Commander galloped off the mobile arm last start but recovered to secure the one-one, and finished only 2.8 lengths behind Anditover, running the fastest last mile in the race of 2:02.3.
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Our runners this week
Saturday night at Albion Park
Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them
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.”