Luck deserts Lincoln Farms’ pair as Make Way checked into gallop and Hustler dragged back

Dreadful luck robbed Northview Hustler and Make Way of placings in both feature races at Albion Park in Brisbane on Saturday night.

First Make Way was holding the lead in the A$100,000 Queensland Derby when he was tightened and checked into a gallop, the culprit later suspended for 14 days for causing interference.

And then half an hour later in Queensland’s biggest race of the year, the A$250,000 Blacks A Fake Championship, Northview Hustler was sitting sweet, three back on the markers, when the trailer Cash N Flow choked down and dragged him right back to the tail of the field.

It made for painful watching for the 30-strong team of Lincoln Farms’ supporters gathered on course to cheer on their heroes.

Make Way’s driver Anthony Butt was sure the early squeezing cost him a place, and thousands of dollars in stakes, in the derby.

Butt, driving hard from the pole, looked to have successfully fended off all the early challengers when Tim McLean on $151 shot Nancys Boy, barely half a length in front, shifted down.

“He tightened me right up,” said Butt. “I was racing in really restricted room and we nearly jumped a marker peg.”

Make Way galloped for a few strides, Butt praising the colt for quickly finding his straps again.

“He did a great job to pick himself up so quickly, especially going that speed into the bend.”

Make Way and Trojan Banner just miss the derby spoils.Make Way and Trojan Banner just miss the derby spoils.But the damage was done and instead of leading then taking the trail behind Self Assured and Mark Purdon, Butt found himself three deep.

“It was a damn shame as he went a great race afterwards. I probably wouldn’t have beaten Mark but I would have been in the placings.”

To make matters worse, when Nancys Boy stopped down the back straight Butt was held up before he managed to get off into the running line.

“I ended up six lengths further back than I should have been and, while he made up a lot of ground between the 600 and 200 when they were going very fast anyway, it told on him late.

“In light of the sectionals it made it very hard work for him. I should have been in the trail, doing nothing, waiting for the passing lane.”

Incredibly Self Assured ran home in 26.7 and 27.1, for a last half in 53.8. His mile rate for the 2680 metres was a race record 1:54.2.

Make Way battled away bravely for sixth, 12.9 metres from the winner, and just three metres behind Jesse Duke and Our Princess Tiffany who dead-heated for third.

Lincoln Farms’ second runner Trojan Banner charged home from well back to just shade Make Way for fifth, running super sectionals despite coming wide on the home turn.

Trojan Banner’s official last 800 and 400 metres, of 53.55 and 26.56, were the fastest in the race. Self Assured, pacing on the markers, clocked 53.68 and 26.98.

Trojan Banner ran the fastest sectionals in the derby - and was wide doing it.Trojan Banner ran the fastest sectionals in the derby - and was wide doing it.

Northview Hustler, extreme right, runs on bravely in the Blacks A Fake after being carted to the rear.Northview Hustler, extreme right, runs on bravely in the Blacks A Fake after being carted to the rear.Barnes was cheering early

Trainer Al Barnes says he was cheering early when he saw Northview Hustler snuggle into the marker line, only three back, in the Blacks A Fake.

“I thought ‘beautiful’ we’re getting a great trip,” said Barnes.

But all of 700 metres from home, the picture turned very grim when Cash N Flow, who has a history of choking down in distance races, capitulated and went back through the field in a hurry, taking the Hustler back with him.

Driver Hayden Barnes found himself third last with an impossible job ahead of him.

But Hustler picked up again and was making ground stylishly when the early leader Ohoka Punter stopped in his lap, holding him up again.

Hustler did extremely well to close within 15 metres of the winner Colt Thirty One and he was only five metres astern of the four horses spread across the track who took third, fourth, fifth and sixth - Letspendanitetogetha, Watch Pulp Fuction, Alleluia and Tiger Tara.

Stewards later took action against both horses who impeded Northview Hustler.

Cash N Flow was banned from racing until it trials to the satisfaction of stewards, Luke McCarthy advising the horse would be kept to shorter distances in future.

And Ohoka Punter’s pilot Paul Diebert was suspended for six weeks for driving in an unacceptable manner, pushing the horse beyond its capabilities.

Ohoka Punter’s lead time of 75.5 for the 1071 metres from the 2680 metre start to the mile equated to a 28.3 sectional, tactics in direct contrast to the way he was driven in his previous start when surrendering the lead and using the sprint lane to win the Sunshine Sprint.

Ohoka Punter, who races in the same ownership as Colt Thirty One, tired badly and was beaten more than 31 metres.

Al Barnes … philosophical.Al Barnes … philosophical.Barnes is adamant Northview Hustler wouldn’t have finished far off the first few home but was taking a philosophical approach today.

“It’s frustrating but it just wasn’t meant to be. But we didn’t have any real expectations and were just happy to be a part of it.

“I can’t fault that what the horse has done - we just haven’t had any luck.

“I was rapt with how both Hustler and Trojan went and they’ll have a little freshen up now and start again.

“A couple of people are looking at buying Trojan but we might start him in the Marburg Derby on August 4.

“He’s just coming up and doesn’t need a break.

“And once all the visitors go home, Hustler will be one of the best up here and will be very competitive in the free-for-alls.”

Our runners this week

Saturday night at Albion Park


Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 2: Frisco Bay

“He obviously needed the run last week. He pulled his way round the field and sat outside the leader but he couldn’t cop a run like that first-up and got tired. The ability is there, whether he’s fit enough or not we’ll find out. But I expect him to go well, the three draw is much better than last week.”

Race 2: Lenny Lincoln

“He’ll probably need a race but he’s capable of running a slot. He’s unlucky not to have won a race, all three of his seconds were good. He’s got a bit better with each of his trials this time in and he got home well last Saturday, after coming widest on the turn.”

Race 3: Obadiah Dragon

“The way the race was run at Cambridge last week, his effort wasn’t bad at all. Moni (Monika Ranger) said he felt strong and, if he’d been a few slots closer, he would have been right in it. He’ll be improved for the run.”

Race 3: Leo Lincoln

“He’s very consistent - he’s only missed a couple of cheques. But he’s another just coming back and should improve with the run.”

Race Images - Harness