Lisa produces home track quinella for John and Lynne - and Star of the show is improving
It’s nothing new for Lisa Latta to train the quinella in a race but she’s seldom done it for the same owner in her 1029 wins.
So to produce Lincoln Star and Platinum Bordeaux to run one-two in the last race on her home track at Awapuni on Saturday was a real feather in her cap.
Just which way the result would go hung in the balance until the final 75 metres when Lincoln Star, owned outright by Lincoln Farms’ John and Lynne Street, got the better of Platinum Bordeaux whom they race with long time partner Neville McAlister.
It was just Lincoln’s Star’s fourth win in 39 starts, a record dulled by his lack of size and pickiness on track conditons.
But everything fell into place on Saturday when the going improved to slow and the field fell away with seven defections.
Latta is hoping the well bred gelding can now maintain his form.
Though seven, Latta says the little horse has simply been too weak to try too much over ground, which he is bred to excel at.
By champion stallion Savabeel, he is out of the classy mare Dating, an unlucky fourth in the New Zealand Oaks, hence his $180,000 price tag.
“He’s been too weak but is stronger this time in,” Latta said.
Latta got the best of both worlds on Saturday with gun rider Hazel Schoffer, taking 1kg off his back, without sacrificing strength in the saddle.
Lincoln Star, while so quiet he is easy to ride, is not the type to try too hard for inexperienced apprentices.
“Hazel rode him in his previous start and it’s good to stick to riders who know the horses.”
Latta now has her sights set on a rating 74 $30,000 race at Awapuni on Boxing Day, again over 2100 metres.
Middle distances are also expected to help Platinum Bordeaux who raced much handier than usual and weakened only late to finish a length behind her stablemate.
“She fought really well,” Latta said. “She’s held her form a bit better this campaign but won’t have too many more this time in. She needs the fire out of the ground and will have a freshen-up soon.”
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Saturday at Trentham
Race 1: Lincoln Valley
“He didn’t have all favours last start- he was three wide without cover the trip and the effort told in the last bit. He also got squeezed up a little late. From the six draw we will go forward and I’m sure Lisa will have learned a lot from him in his last run. His work has been really good and I have added a nasal strip as he is quite a noisy breather and it may help. It’s not an overly strong field and the big roomy track will suit.”
Race 7: Platinum Spirit
“We are racing him out of his grade so he gets in at a nice light weight. Carrying 60kg last start was a really big ask and he got there a touch too soon. He has drawn awkwardly at 12 but he has the ability to put himself in the race if there’s a lack of speed. He looks fantastic and still holds a nomination for the Wellington Cup next week but might need to gain a few more points to get into the field. Chris Dell rides.”
Race 8: Father Lenihan
“The outside draw is tricky but Robbie knows him well - he’s ridden him in three of his four wins - and I’m sure he will make him jump and put him on the speed. He’s been out of the winner’s circle for a while but he went a great race last start and this field is nowhere near as strong. We were going to step him up over ground but he sits so awkwardly in the ratings at 76 that he would be carrying the top weight of 62kg in a R74 2000m.”