Race Images - Gallops

Lisa Latta went within a lip of winning the cup last year with Five To Midnight whose rider Opie Bosson is in front in the photo finish.

Lisa: Auckland Cup weight scale dead against the Kamanda, we’ll be doing well to run top 6

Kamanda Lincoln deserves his shot at the Auckland Cup but realistic trainer Lisa Latta reckons he’ll be doing well to run top six.

And that’s not because the horse isn’t going well - he showed with his unlucky and late charging third in last Saturday’s Nathan’s Memorial that he’s in great heart.

But under the set weights and penalties conditions of the race, he’s terribly off against a number of far better performed gallopers.

Under normal conditions Kamanda Lincoln, a rating 76 horse, could have expected to get into the race with 52kg or 53kg and be receiving 6kg and more from the favourites at the head of the handicap.

Instead he is on 55kg, just 1kg below last year’s runner-up Five To Midnight, and only 2kg below Charles Road and Vengeur Masque, who are both rated 104 and have infinitely superior records.

Charles Road has won a Group II race in Australia, the Chairman’s (2600m) at Randwick and he finished third in the Sydney Cup (3200m) and seventh in the Melbourne Cup (3200m) last year.

He will carry only 1kg more than in last year’s Auckland Cup despite in the last 12 months having won A$601,990 in Australia and another $46,750 in New Zealand.

Vengeur Masque has won two Group III races, the Geelong Cup (2400m) and Queen Elizabeth (2600m) at Flemington and also ran third in the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) last November.

“It’s crazy really and certainly a big ask for him,’’ says Latta.

“But hopefully getting the good draw of four will make up for it.’’

Latta says the cup will be good experience for Kamanda Lincoln, rated a $41 chance with the bookies.

Twelve months too soon

“But it may be 12 months too soon for all this. Next year should be his year.

“He’s really only just starting to learn to do things right, he’s not pulling as hard or getting his head up.’’

Latta says Kamanda Lincoln’s lead-up hasn’t been ideal, with Saturday’s race his third in just 15 days.

“He’s lightened up a bit, which is what you’d expect, but he seems well and any fire out of the ground would help him.’’

The metservice is forecasting 23ml to fall on Friday, with possible thunderstorms, but clearing skies by lunchtime Saturday. The track was a good 2 this morning.

Glory Days, outer, nabs Blue Breeze near the post in the Avondale Cup at Ellerslie. She has eased slightly in the betting after drawing wide. PHOTO: Trish Dunell.Glory Days, outer, nabs Blue Breeze near the post in the Avondale Cup at Ellerslie. She has eased slightly in the betting after drawing wide. PHOTO: Trish Dunell.Latta was disappointed her other cup runner Five To Midnight drew 13 but the horse now shares second equal favouritism on $5 with Glory Days who is one from the outside in gate 15.

Five To Midnight is one of the beneficiaries of the race conditions, getting in with the luxury weight of 56kg, half a kilo less than he carried in the cup last year when beaten the smallest of noses by Ladies First.

It is the lightest weight he has carried for nearly 12 months. In his previous nine starts in New Zealand he has had 59kg (third in the Avondale Cup), 60kg (first in the Karaka Cup), 59kg (fifth in the City Of Auckland Cup), 60kg (third in the Waikato Cup), 60kg (eighth in the Counties Cup on a slow track), 60kg (first in the Feilding Cup), 59kg (eighth in the Livamol Classic), 58.5kg (first in the Fasttrack) and 57.5kg (seventh in the Reliable Man Trophy).

Not since he ran second in the Awapuni Gold Cup on March 31 last year has he enjoyed only 56kg in New Zealand.

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

Wednesday at Hastings

Race 5 & 7: Platinum Appeal

“She hasn’t been 100% in her action in the last three or four days and we have some foot issues to sort out. She won’t be running. We’ll wait for Palmy next week.’’

Race 6: Authentic Charm

“I have chosen to back her up as this will be one of the last good tracks we will get - it’s a dead 4 today. We’ve got the in-form Zinjete Moki who claims 2kg down to 54.5kg. She meets a small line-up and this looks like a nice race for her in her last run for the season.’’

Race 8: Lincoln’s Gal

“She has come through her last start at Woodville very well. She beat herself that day when she missed the kick and ran home very well. With the rating 65 having being split, it means she meets a small but even field. From the good draw Jonathan Riddell should be able to possie up and be right in the finish.’’

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

Saturday at Trentham

Race 7: Platinum Rapper

“She galloped really well on Thursday and has progressed very well since her last run. The big, roomy track suits her and the conditions won’t worry her so I’m confident she’s a big chance.”

Race 8: Lincoln Fury

“I don’t want the track too heavy for him. I’ll wait until race morning to see how it is and what’s scratched but we may wait for Wanganui next Saturday. His work has been good but he just may be coming to the end of his preparation.’’

Lincoln light

News in brief

GREEN FIBRILLATES: Lincoln Green had an atrial fibrillation at Otaki on Thursday and will need a vet clearance before racing again. The horse raced keenly early but gave ground quickly near the 600 metre mark and rider Robbie Hannam did not persevere with him in the run home when he suspected there was something amiss.