Make Way must hold up from the ace to get economical trip in derby heat
Make Way’s chances of making the New South Wales Derby Final could hinge on the start at Menangle on Saturday night.
Lincoln Farms’ smart three-year-old contests the second of three derby heats at 8.53pm NZ time and, while he comes up against leading chances I’m Anothermasterpiece and Lochinvar Art, he should get his chance drawn the inside of the front line.
Top horseman Anthony Butt, who now prepares the colt with partner Sonya Smith on the course, says Make Way has certainly drawn to get an economical run.
“Ideally we can get sucked along in the trail behind I’m Anothermasterpiece but I’m picking a few others will have the same plan.
“The only thing about the 2400 metre starting point is that it’s right on the point of the turn into the back straight and the ones on the inside are going slower than the ones wider out. Normally they run races over 2300 metres because it’s a better starting point.
“But he’s a beautifully mannered horse and he should hold his spot.’’
From the trail Butt says Make Way will get a good shot at qualifying for the A$200,000 final on March 2 - the first three home get automatic spots along with the fastest fourth placing.
“All we’ll need is a bit of luck over the last 300 metres but they normally go very quick and plenty of gaps open up.’’
Butt believes Make Way will have an advantage having had plenty of experience over longer trips - 10 of his 23 starts have been over 2200 metres while most of the locals race most over shorter sprint trips.
“He’s a good little stayer and I’m really happy with him. He came over in great order and hasn’t had one hiccup since he’s been here.”
Butt says Make Way did everything that he’d hoped for and more in his first test at Menangle nine days ago.
“It was a good field that day and a little further and he would have won.’’
Make Way, who raced one out and two back, closed gamely in the run home to finish third, just half a head and half a neck behind Fear Cruisin and Make Mine Memphis in a 1:53.1 mile.
“Running fast all the way on this big track can take getting used to - it’s all a bit new to them - but apart from getting up on the bit at the 800 he was perfect.
“And he’s come on a bit since then.’’
Butt says Make Way ($31) was never going to escape all the top ranked derby horses on Saturday night and acknowledged they were aiming high.
The All Stars’ I’m Anothermasterpiece ($1.28), in gate five, was obviously the one to beat after his second in the Victoria Derby, and Lochinvar Art ($5.50) was also racing in great form but would have to do some work from eight on the arm.
“You’re only three once and this race will give us a good line on him.’’
Make Way’s former trainer Ray Green said the colt had already proven he was a good follower of speed in New Zealand.
He finished just a neck, a nose and a neck behind Anothermasterpiece in the Harness Jewels last season, pacing a 1:53.6 mile at Cambridge.
And more recently, at Auckland, he made the most of the trail to finish fourth behind Ultimate Sniper, Another Masterpiece and Supreme Dominator in the Sales Series Final.
“He may not be the best but he’s a real trier who has never disgraced himself.”
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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.”