Make Way and Steam Punk both live winning chances for Lincoln Farms on Friday night
Lincoln Farms takes two pacers to the races at Auckland on Friday night, both excellent winning chances with Make Way dropping in class and straight A student Steam Punk primed for a great debut.
Make Way looks a ratings special in the seventh race, a rating 63 horse dropping in to a rating 40 to 63 event.
The colt has been in terrific form this season against much stronger opposition and comes into the race fresh after his last-start win at the beginning of the month.
His two previous efforts also held plenty of merit:
- On October 26 he sat parked all the way in a Sires’ Stakes heat, hit the lead 200 metres out, only to be run down into third by Bettorstartdreaming.
- On October 12, he paced 2:40 flat, nailed in the last stride by Red Reactor.
Trainer Ray Green has elected to try Make Way in sliding blinds on Friday night, in the hope he can prevent the horse from knocking off when seemingly having his races won.
“He’s a good, honest horse who puts in every time but he’s had that tendency to wait for them.
“I wouldn’t want to see him get parked but if he gets the right trip from the outside of the gate, he’s the one to beat. This is a definite drop down in class for him - he’s beaten better horses than these.
“He’s training well, he comes off their backs and really hooks into it. He’s got some speed. He’s no slug.’’
Green says in small fields, it usually becomes a walk and sprint up the straight and he’s hoping that unfolds again on Friday.
“We want to space his races a little bit, and look after him, and a sprint home wouldn’t be as tough as a 2:40 race.’’
Green would like to see the horse build towards his next assignment, the $50,000 Alabar Classic on December 14.
Following that he is eyeing up the $200,000 Sales Series Final on New Year’s Eve.
Green says Make Way has recovered well from a slight hiccup last week which saw him scratched.
“I just think he had a little bit of a virus and I didn’t want him to go out and race below par and suffer because of it.
“He was just lethargic and didn’t show much enthusiasm for anything.
“But I gave him a few easy days and he’s bounced back well.’
Put the ring around Punk
Green can see only one stumbling block for Steam Punk in the fifth race, the horse drawn outside him in race six, the Tony Herlihy-trained Mr Yips.
“What beats him will win and we’ve got a good chance of doing that.
“I can’t fault him since he arrived and we’re in with a good shot.’’
Steam Punk, an unraced three-year-old by McArdle, was bought by leading Australian owner Merv Butterworth after showing real ability for Canterbury trainer Michael Howard and sent north to Lincoln Farms.
And he hinted at an early win when leading for all but the last stride of his workout at Pukekohe last week, driver Zachary Butcher sitting on the horse without asking him for his best.
“He has a lot of good attributes - he’s a perfect, lovely driving horse who is a safe pacer and seems genuine.
“He appears to have good gate speed and has been perfect training and trialling right-handed.
‘It just remains to be seen whether he can handle that other horse of Tony’s.’’
Mr Yips hasn’t raced since running second to Make Way at Auckland in May but was a workout winner on November 17 beating race rival Mohs Em Down.
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Friday night at Auckland
Race 1: The Empress
“She’s very capable of winning but you couldn’t label her. But she’d have to be very unlucky not to get some of it.”
Race 3: Lindi Lincoln
“She went quite nicely at the workouts last Saturday but she’ll probably need a race to tighten her up. It’s not a great field but the draw (outside front row) isn’t ideal.”
Race 5: Line Up
“I’m confident Line Up can beat Henry Hu who puts in some terrible steps around the corners. He’d have to do plenty wrong to get beaten.”
Race 5: Bettor My Dreamz
“He’s back in the right grade and will be right there with a trip, but he’ll need a perfect trip to have any chance of beating Line Up.”
Race 7: Copy That
“He’s the best horse in the field without a doubt - it just depends on what passage he gets from that draw, but if he gets a good trip I can’t see anything beating him.”
Race 9: Double Or Nothing
“I think he’ll run just as well as usual. The draw’s not great but he doesn’t have to lead to go well - he can go back if David wants to.”
Saturday night at Albion Park
Race 5: Northview Hustler
10.08pm NZ time
“I’ll go back and save him for one sprint from the 300. It’s hard to predict where he’ll finish driving like that but the field is a bit weaker than last time with Watch Pulp Fiction not in and the step-up to 2138 metres will definitely favour us.”