Make Way feeling bullet proof, says Ants, thanks to Australia’s superior handicapping
Lincoln Farms’ partners in Make Way might have been sad to see him leave New Zealand but they’re certainly enjoying the way he is making the most of the superior handicapping system in Australia.
The smart three-year-old was untroubled to score at Penrith last night to notch his third win since arriving at Sonya Smith’s Menangle stable.
And, incredibly, only now does he rise to c1 status with six wins and 10 placings on his 30-start career sheet.
“It’s such a good system over here,’’ says Smith’s partner, top horseman Anthony Butt.
“They can pinch a few easy wins and it gets their confidence up. They start thinking they’re bullet proof.’’
Bullet proof Make Way certainly was last night when Butt eased him off the inside second row draw at the go button and enjoyed a nice run through to be three back on the outer.
“There wasn’t a lot of pace on so I took luck out of the equation, got out and around them and was able to control the race from outside the leader.
“He travels beautifully there, nicely on the bit, and I can go as fast or slow as a I like.
“He jogged it in the end and I didn’t pull the blinds down, he had plenty left and wouldn’t have blown one match out afterwards.’’
Make Way’s time for the 1720 metres of 2:05.9 represented a mile rate of 1:57.8, which was 3.4 seconds faster than the c0 race for three-year-olds and quicker than the times run by the c1 and c2 winners on the night.
And it compared very favourably with the 1:57.7 and 1:56.8 mile rates clocked by the winners of the c3 to c5 races.
Butt says Make Way is really in the zone and gives the credit to Smith.
“Sonya’s done a great job with him and treats him like her son.
“He’s really in a happy place and has a lot ahead of him.
“He has the whole package really. He has gate speed and I think he’d be a really good sit-sprint horse as well.’’
Butt hasn’t yet confirmed Make Way’s next start but says he could line up at Penrith again next week in a c1 race.
“I’d like to get back to Menangle on a Tuesday at some stage but we’ll wait until there’s a c0-c1 race, rather than a c1-c2.’’
In nine starts in Australia Make Way has now earned A$17,350 form three wins, three seconds, one third, one fourth and an eighth - when he was sick.
It’s still an occasion
The colt is raced by Duncan, John and Dave Chisholm, Warwick Orr, Bob Best, Amy Myocevich and the 10-member Excell Syndicate in partnership with Lincoln Farms’ John and Lynne Street and Ian Middleton.
Northland owner Duncan Chisholm says he and his brothers and partners still make an occasion of Make Way’s races.
“Nothing beats watching live at Alexandra Park, but we are fully behind him racing in Australia, with so many more options for the horse.
“So long as the race is not too late when he lines up we all get together and cheer him on.”
Chisholm says with Make Way racing in Australia it also gives them an excuse to fly over to watch him.
“If he goes to Queensland for the derby, Kathy and I will be there.”
More news in Harness
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Al adopts new silks to help us follow Brisbane team - and guess what, they’re green!
Pukekohe workout pointers: Lincoln Farms’ team bring their A game - even the bad boy
Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them
Friday night at Auckland
Race 4: Copy That
“He’s certainly got some speed. The race was all over by the time he got going last week and James never pulled the plugs. Clearly he’s the best horse in the field on ability. But there are no guarantees he’ll behave.’’
Race 4: Tommy Lincoln
“He’s trialling well but I won’t be expecting too much from gate six. He was a big, gangly, weak thing but he’s strengthened up a lot this time in.”
Race 4: Billy Lincoln
“It’s his first race, and first time away from Pukekohe and he’s drawn the inside of the second row so logic tells you he has a few things against him. Until six weeks ago he was extremely average but he’s progressively got better and better.”
Race 8: Governor’s Bay
“He had a tough trip last time so it wasn’t surprising he weakened. He’s training well and this field looks a lot easier.”
Friday at Albion Park
Race 1: Lincoln’s Girl
2.42pm NZ time
“It’s not a bad field but she’s as good as anything else in there and looks a top two chance with a little luck from the second row. She went super last time - I didn’t know how brave she’d be when I saw her caught in the chair but Hayden was very happy with how she went.”
Race 9: Vasari
7.22pm NZ time
“He should get out a lot better this week with Hayden back driving and we’ll be trying to cross the pole marker. The horse is really well and he’ll win one soon. It’s a good line-up but he should run top three.’’
Saturday night at Menangle
Race 7: Lets Strike The Gold
10.22pm NZ time
“This is a difficlut race for him to win and I’ll be driving him quietly from that barrier. It’s been nearly nine months since he raced and he’s going to need a couple of runs to get his race fitness.”