Lining up to pilot Lincoln’s new jet - it’s the Johnathan and Jonathan show
One Jonathan’s loss could be another’s gain if exciting colt Lincoln Falls scores again at Hastings on Saturday.
Trainer Lisa Latta originally lined up Cambridge-based rider Jonathan Riddell to ride Lincoln Farms’ crack three-year-old this season.
And Riddell flew down especially to ride Lincoln Falls when he trialled at Foxton on August 28.
But after Riddell copped a suspension on Tarzino Trophy day at Hastings Latta was forced to replace him with Johnathan Parkes for Lincoln Falls’ Woodville debut on September 14.
Riddell would normally have been back aboard for his next start but with Latta having set the colt for the $40,000 special conditions race at Hastings on Saturday, Riddell will again miss out.
Lincoln Falls’ 55.5kg handicap in the race is too light for highweight rider Riddell to make, again leaving the seat vacant for Parkes.
And should the colt win again, Latta says she will then be left with the difficult decision on whether she should mess with a winning partnership.
Latta admits to some relief that owner John Street and his partners in the horse, Chris Grace and Kevin Pratt, have continued to fend off serious offers for Lincoln Falls.
Even before his sparkling debut, agents had dangled offers of up to a million dollars in front of the team and the money got even more serious after his Woodville annihilation.
“John has wanted a good horse for a while now. He’s at an age when he wants to go to the races to watch the good ones, not the average ones.
“The fact that he’s still a colt helps matters,’’ says Latta, knowing the potential rewards are huge should Lincoln Falls win a Group I race.
Latta says Lincoln Falls is looking in great condition for Saturday and pulled up well after a fast gallop with Guineas contender Sir Nate last Thursday.
“His gallop on the course proper on Tuesday morning was also very good,
“We have been using the swimming pool and he has really taken to that which has been a big help.
“He gets into this special conditions race very well with only 55.5kg.
“This is a step-up in distance and class but he is ready to take that step and we will get a good line on where we are heading with him after this run.’’
Here’s how Lisa rates the rest of the Lincoln Farms’ team running on Saturday:
Kamanda Lincoln, Race 1
“He has come through his New Plymouth run well and has pleased me during the week.
“Shaun McKay will ride again and the step-up to 2200 metres will help him further. The new Plymouth run was only ever a stepping stone to this and I expect him to be competitive.’’
Lincoln Raider, Race 3
“This race is short of his best distance and being topweight I thought claiming 2kg would help his chances so I’ve put Tim Johnson on. The draw (11) will not help but as long as he is hitting the line strongly I will be pleased. He will be better as he gets up over more ground further into his campaign.’’
Platinum Mam’selle, Race 5
“She has come through her first-up run well and has improved with that outing. Chris Johnson will ride her and she has drawn midfield at eight. “Hopefully the pace will be strong and she will be able to finish over the top of them.’’
Princess Amelie, Race 5 and Race 10
“I entered Princess Amelie in two races and she hasn’t drawn well in either, getting the outside gate of 16 in the Guineas.
“The advantage of taking on this race is she would run against her own age group.
“She has shown good gate speed and if we choose to run in this race she will have to use it.
“This is a black type race, which is important for her future, but the job is more difficult from an outside draw.
“If she’d drawn closer in the rating 72 1400 metres race I’d definitely have run her there but she has drawn 10 of 15 and that worries me.
“While she’d be up against the older horses she would get in on the minimum.
“The three-year-old season is a long one and there will be a lot of opportunities for her later on.
“We may get scratchings, with a couple of riders still to be declared, so we’ll leave a decision until Friday when we’ll get a better feel for how the two fields stack up.’’
More news in Gallops
Platinum Road looks the goods but, sorry pal, it’s off to the vets for you
Platinum Invador won’t take any prisoners at Otaki - especially if it’s wet
Bush Whacked doesn’t have the wheels of Stephen’s Harley - but he knows how to brake
Shocking four-year-old doesn’t have a name but he showed today that he’ll need one soon
Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them
Wednesday at Matamata
Race 5: Bush Whacked
Thursday at Otaki
Race 2, 4: Lincoln Sky
“I’ve put him in two races, one over 1200 metres and the other 1400 metres and will wait to see what the weather does before deciding which race to run in. If the rain arrives we will line him up in the 1200. He ran a good race when resuming at Wanganui and I have been happy with his progress since.’’
Race 6: Platinum Invador
“Unfortunately he has come up with an outside draw again. He ran a big race at Trentham from a wide gate in a far stronger field. A lot of rain is forecast on Wednesday night though so the bad draw may be negated come race time. He galloped very well this morning and I expect him to be right in it.’’
Race 8: Alesha Lincoln
“Her recent work has been good enough and we have a nice draw to use. Being by Alamosa, it suggests any rain will not worry her. I am looking forward to her debut.’’
Saturday at Awapuni
Race 1: Miss Oahu
“I’ve chosen to start her up a rating band to get some weight relief and she gets in with only 54.5kg. She has really improved since her first-up run and her coat looks far better now. I expect a bold run from her, especially with the one draw to use.’’
Race 2: Platinum Touch
“She’s come up with the outside draw so if it doesn’t rain I will probably scratch her and go to New Plymouth on December 27. Her work has been good and I am happy with her heading into her debut.”
Race 5: Johnny Lincoln
“He’s drawn one from the outside but if he can get any luck in the running he’ll be very hard to beat. I am very happy with him and he has trained on well.’’
Race 8: Father Lenihan
“He’s had no luck with barrier draws and the trend continues on Saturday where he has drawn the outside. He has good gate speed however so we will look to go forward. The forecasted rain will help him and hopefully the track ends up in the dead range. He has continued to please me since his last run at Trentham.’’
News in brief
MAM’SELLE MASSIVE: Platinum Mam’selle clocked 34.59, easily the fastest last 600 metres in her race at Awapuni on Saturday when she flew from last at the 200 metre mark to get up for third, just a head and a long neck from winner All In Mana. Those who followed trainer Lisa Latta’s advice collected a $4.50 place dividend.
INVADOR UNLUCKY: Platinum Invador ($52) ran only ninth at Trentham but was dead unlucky. He settled at the rear after jumping awkwardly then was held up entering the home straight and did not get clear until 100 metres out when he rocketed home to be just 2.6 lengths from the winner.
PORT’S FORGIVE RUN: Port Lincoln did well to finish less than three lengths from the winner at Waipukurau. He was held up for a distance near the 500 metres then ran up onto heels passing the 300 metres, having to be angled outwards to get clear.
BUSH BAFFLER: Trainer Stephen Marsh will be trying a few different training tactics with Bush Whacked, including some jumping, to try to switch the horse on. He travelled strongly on the pace until the turn at Avondale but quickly raised the white flag.
DERBY DREAM: Trainer Lisa Latta has nominated six Lincoln Farms’ three-year-olds for the $1 million New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie on March 2 - Lincoln Falls, Lincoln Lane, Ajay Lincoln, Lincoln Fury, Lincoln Hanover and Platinum Invador. Latta has also entered 2000 Guineas placegetter Sir Nate.
VOLOS BLOWS IT AGAIN: Platinum Volos did another Chautauqua impersonation when he refused to come out of the gates at Awapuni despite wearing pacifiers and a barrier blanket. The grey will now have to trial on multiple occasions before being allowed to race again.
ALMO OUT FOR SPELL: Almo Street’s much awaited racetrack return, with the aid of a blindfold to help him jump out of the gates, has been put on hold. Trainer Lisa Latta says the normally good trackworker has been decidedly average in his last two gallops and, after nearly a year in work sorting out his problems, is simply over the top.