Memo to Cambridge punters: Louie’s a different horse now he’s grown into his frame
Forget Louie The Punter’s 798 formline when he resumes at Cambridge on Thursday night.
In the eight months since we last saw Louie The Punter on the racetrack he’s done plenty of growing and filling out, says trainer Ray Green.
“He was just too weak last time. He’s a big horse and he had a lot of growing issues.
“But he’s starting to come to it now and the way he’s been training and trialling, I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do.
“The draw’s awkward but he’ll still go well as there’s nothing wonderful in the field.”
Louie The Punter will start from the inside of the two-horse second row which will negate the good gate speed he has shown in two recent runs in a workout and trial, both of which he has won from the front end.
On March 27 at Pukekohe he beat Ronda and Time Out over 2050 metres in a 2:04 mile rate and four days later he was too good for Nyla and Shirley Bromac, getting home by a neck in a mile rate of 2.03.3 in slushy conditions.
“If he races as well as he’s trialled he’s a definite chance,” Green said.
By Sweet Lou out of Love A Gamble, Louie The Punter is a brother of Lincoln Farms’ former consistent pacer Double Or Nothing and a half brother to the brilliant Let It Ride who has continued his excellent Australian form since beng sent to the States where he now boasts a fastest time of 1:48.2 and a record of 24 wins and nearly half a million dollars in stakes.
Captain Nemo and Tartan Robyn gave the stable a solid hand in the sixth race, Nemo nicely placed in three and Tartan Robyn the only horse on the second line.
Captain Nemo has shown real grit in his latest two wins, trapped three wide most of the way at Cambridge and parked throughout at Palmerston North.
“I had high hopes for him early on but he didn’t rise to the occasion. He’s probably still not strong enough but he’s well up to this lot and I think there’s still a fair bit of improvement in him.”
Green rates Tartan Robyn just as good a winning chance with a big drop back in class from what he’s been racing at Auckland.
“The draw’s awkward but if he gets a reasonable trip he should win.
“He raced super last time - three wide from the 1300. He’s gone well every time we’ve tried him but just had no luck.”
With a form line of 64544 since arriving from the deep south, Tartan Robyn has never been far away despite bad trips.
In his last start on March 26, he went back to last from the outside of the gate and rode the three wide train from the 1300 metres.
In doing his best work late, he clocked his last mile of the 2200 metres in 1:56.4, the fastest in the race, to finish fourth to The Honey Queen, Cya Art and Show Me Heaven.
More news in Harness
Better draw will help Frisco but Ray’s quartet for Friday all in early stages of new prep
Argyle salutes at last and Mark confident he’ll keep the till ticking over in the next grade
Unlucky Argyle deserves to be rewarded at Albion Park tonight - just no bad luck please
Ray looking forward to Lincoln Lou and fully oxygenated Frisco Bay at Cambridge on Friday
Our runners this week
Saturday night at Albion Park
Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them
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.”