Lisa to saddle a record 10 runners for Lincoln Farms - and a debutant gets top billing
On a day when trainer Lisa Latta takes a record 10 horses to the races for Lincoln Farms, it’s an unraced maiden named Lincoln Town who could upstage them all.
Latta and a team of six staff will be flat out throughout the eight race card at Awapuni on Saturday with a confirmed 14 horses running and another three awaiting entry from the ballot.
But her surprise top bet is a horse who Latta says for a long time “showed absolutely nothing.’’
Lincoln Town, a three-year-old by Tavistock, ran down the track in three trials last year but this prep, thanks to the work of senior rider Robbie Hannam, he’s looked a different animal, winning two trials last month.
But the real turning point was a jumpout at Levin on March 13 when Lincoln Town was too good for five rivals including smart stablemates Lincoln Lane (third) and Lincoln Green (fourth).
Latta says that was the day Hannam really got stuck into the horse.
“He was very lazy but Robbie made him go and get on the bridle.’’
Lincoln Town led and kept up a strong gallop to the line, even though Hannam reported he still seemed to be waiting for the other horses.
Lincoln Town has continued to improve with each trial and Latta says his latest, at Foxton on April 30, was particularly impressive when he ran away by two lengths in heavy 10 conditions.
“Obviously the weather has helped him and that’s no surprise as he’s out of a Shinko King mare.’’
Lincoln Town’s dam Who Says was a good performer, winning seven races on slow, good and dead tracks.
When Lincoln Town went through the ring at the 2017 Ready To Run sale his sire Tavistock was all the rage and Lincoln Farms’ boss John Street had to outlay $190,000 to secure him.
Who Says had already left Who Says I’m Ready, who scored seven wins in Australia from 2000 metres to 3200 metres.
Given the way Lincoln Town has been trialling it’s no surprise Hannam, regular rider of perennial bridesmaid Lincoln Hanover, has switched to Lincoln Town on Saturday.
“Robbie does fancy him and he’s on the upward too, while the other horse is on the verge of being turned out as he needs time to strengthen.’’
Latta says the improvement in the weather in the last day, and expected good forecast, will play into Lincoln Town’s hands.
“If it’s not too heavy and gets back into the slow range he should get away with it.’’
Lincoln Star has really improved
Latta rates Lincoln Star, in the final race, as Lincoln Farms’ second best chance.
She says the four-year-old Savabeel gelding has really improved since his first-up run at Trentham when he was in tight quarters early in the run home for Zinjite Moki and finished less than four lengths from the winner Midnight Story.
“He has come up with a midfield draw which will be a big help in the last race of the day. And the step-up to 1600 metres, with a senior rider up, will really help his chances.’’
Hannam knows the horse well, having ridden him four times, and he was on Lincoln Star when he beat Original Gangster at Awapuni in December.
Lincoln Star will also be suited by the expected slow 9 track. He ran second to Skyphyta on a heavy 10 at Awapuni on Boxing Day.
“That was a summer heavy,’’ says Latta. “But it will be similar to what we’ll get on Saturday.’’
Hills doesn’t want rain
Third pick on Saturday is Lincoln Hills, says Latta, even though he meets a strong line-up in the third race.
“He’s gone some really good races lately and at 13 he could be drawn in the right place.
“If there’s no more rain it would help him as I’m not sure how he’d handle it really heavy.
“He’s taken a bit to work out this horse - he goes better when fresh - but he’s really coming to it now.’’
In his last three races, all at Awapuni in dead conditions, Lincoln Hills has:
- Led all the way to win a 1400 metre maiden
- Run a terrific fourth, despite pulling hard, behind Comeback, Ruby Love and Hanger in a very strong rating 82 1400m and
- Flown home for second to Magico in a rating 72 1200m after being in tight quarters 400 metres out.
More ground for Master
Trentham surprise package Master Lincoln (race 5) earns Latta’s roughie-of-the-day spot.
Master Lincoln outperformed stablemate Lincoln Fury last time over 1600 metres at Trentham, closing late for third and revelling in the heavy 10 conditions.
Latta is really looking forward to what he can do on Saturday, stepping up to 2200 metres for the first time.
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Saturday at New Plymouth
Race 7: Platinum Volos
“It’s not an ideal race for him and I’m a bit worried about the 1400 metres. We’ll have to ride him back last and look for runs through them to give him the chance to see the distance out.”
Saturday at Kilcoy
Race 5: Lincoln’s Command
4.59pm NZ time
“He looks fantastic and his work has been good. Kilcoy is a very tight track and you need to be up front so we’ll be going foreward even from the wide draw. We rode him back last time and it didn’t work as he’s too one-paced.”