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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 trainers rate them

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

Saturday at Trentham

Race 5: Lincoln Towers

“His run at Woodville had more merit than it looked and he has improved a ton with the run. The track is a heavy 9 which will be interesting as the US Navy Flags do tend to go a bit better with a bit of moisture around. From two, Jonathan Riddell is going to be able to position up nicely without doing any work and I am expecting him to go a lot better providing he handles the wetter track.”

Peter Didham

Peter’s comments

Sunday at Woodville

Race 7: Fabian Hawk

“I was hoping the track would be downgraded from soft, not improve, but at this stage he’ll run. You need to be hard fit when you’re going into the heavy winter tracks. His work has been terrific and I thought he’d win his last start but he had an excuse.”