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Lincoln’s Kruz (Lisa Allpress) a clear winner of last year’s Pegasus. PHOTO: Ajay Berry/Race Images.

Lisa’s blueprint with Lincoln’s Kruz can pay big dividends again in Saturday’s Pegasus

Lincoln’s Kruz might have an ugly form line but trainer Lisa Latta is hoping an already successful blueprint will again pay dividends in Saturday’s $90,000 Pegasus Stakes at Riccarton.

When the 1000 metre specialist upset his rivals in the Pegasus last year it was off a last placing fresh-up on a wet track.

On Saturday he lines up in the Listed race with one similar lead-up race, when second last, after over-racing, on a soft track at Trentham.

Latta has deliberately followed the same path with the seven-year-old this year and says she expects him to be very competitive.

“He took a great amount of improvement out of his fresh-up run and I am very excited to get him back to 1000 metres as we know how explosive he can be.”

The showy black arrived at Riccarton at 11am on Wednesday morning, none the worse for his trip down from Palmerston North.

“He appears to have travelled really well and is looking fantastic at the moment and his work has been really good.”

Latta likes how Lincoln’s Kruz gets into the Pegasus with only 53kg, the same weight he carried last year, in receipt of 6kg from topweight Challa, a beaten second favourite in the 2022 race.

“The only question mark I have is that the track is currently a soft 6. But there’s no more rain in the forecast and Riccarton can dry out very quickly, so hopefully it gets back into the good range.”

From a good barrier six, Latta says Lincoln’s Kruz should be able to get a nice run just in behind the speed and hopefully there will be enough tempo so he doesn’t over-race, which has been his undoing in the past.

Latta has engaged high-flying Joe Doyle to control that aspect, the Irish jockey riding so well he sits second on the premiership with 40 wins, just three behind South African Warren Kennedy.

Bookies have Lincoln’s Kruz the fifth favourite at $13 and $4, showing him enough respect despite it being more than nine months since his last win - also over 1000 metres - at Trentham.

In between times he was campaign in Victoria, his owners giving him two shots at the stumps over the straight six at Flemington, plus a race at Bendigo.

Lincoln’s Kruz had three trials before his fresh-up run at Trentham, so is plenty fit, and he boasts four wins from eight starts over his favourite trip of 1000 metres.

Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

Saturday at Trentham

Race 2: Platinum Assault

“He has gone two really nice races this time in and I think he has turned the corner. Lily Sutherland’s 2kg claim will get him down to a very competitive 54.5kg. He wasn’t entirely comfortable in the heavy track at Hastings last start and I thought he ran really well for second. He come through that race nicely and is bright and happy. I think he can be right in the finish, back onto a better track and dropping to 1000 metres from a good three draw.”

Race 3: Lincoln’s Kruz

“It’s a small but tidy field but dropping back to 1100 metres will suit him and, while the track is currently a soft 7, with no rain in the forecast it should dry out beautifully for him. He travelled back from Riccarton in fantastic order and is looking great. We will be able to get a good line on him here and can make a plan after that. He holds a nomination for the Railway at Pukekohe on January 1 and we also have the Telegraph on January 13. Joe Doyle rides from four.”

Race 7: Lincoln Falls

“The blinkers really sparked him up last time. We will look to ride him positively from the gates again and, while he is running out of his grade, if Sam Spratt can get him across from the wide draw, I think he can be competitive. He looked like his old self last start, just blew out over the last 200 metres, and has taken great improvement out of that run. If he doesn’t measure up, we can drop back to the 65 grade and step him up to 1600 metres for one last crack.”

Race 8: Platinum Invador

“The mile will be short of his best but I could see him running a cheeky race. I can’t fault him - he looks great and is jumping out of his skin. We have been swimming him every afternoon which he really enjoys. I’ll ask Tina (Comignaghi) to give him a good warm-up before the start and to ride him positively. This race leads in nicely to the Zabeel Classic at Pukekohe on December 26.”