Miss Oahu has the best credentials but Lisa also has a smokey for Saturday
A slick final gallop has trainer Lisa Latta bullish about the chances of Miss Oahu at Wanganui on Saturday when she lines up six horses for Lincoln Farms.
The Pins six-year-old hasn’t raced for five months but goes well fresh and showed with a recent trial win at Woodville that she is nicely primed.
Crucially, Miss Oahu drops back to a rating 65 race, after four runs in rating 75 grade last campaign, the only two bad performances when running on very wet ground.
Latta hopes the ground on Saturday will have nothing more than the fire out of it.
From barrier nine, rider Rosie Myers will need to do her best work, but Latta says with good speed in the race she should be able to slot in just behind the leaders.
Miss Oahu has been very slow maturing but Latta is hoping this can be her breakout season after showing glimpses of real ability.
In her latest placing in May she chased home Casaquinman, form franked during cup week when that horse won the Listed Pegasus Stakes at Riccarton.
“She’s taken a long time. Originally she worked like she’d get over ground but we tried her over 1400 metres and 1600 metres and she didn’t see it out.”
Lincoln Farms’ other runner in the race, Dreams Of Platinum, will be piloted by Robbie Hannam, the switch to a stronger rider expected to help her.
Leah Hemi was on board when the mare resumed at New Plymouth last Friday, running fifth behind useful types Rose Bowl and High Distinction.
She didn’t get all favours that day, blocked turning for home and fighting on well only three lengths from the winner.
Lincoln Star the improver
Latta tips Lincoln Star as her big improver in the eighth race.
She reports Lincoln Star has gone ahead since his resuming run at Awapuni on November 3 when he finished fifth, but only 2.4 lengths from winning stablemate Father Lenihan.
The Savabeel four-year-old was held up 400 metres out that day, then bumped and unbalanced, yet still fought on well to the line.
The race has proved a good form guide with Father Lenihan narrowly missing in his next outing and third placed Miss Doherty and fourth-placed Last Style both winning their next starts.
Lincoln Star, an older four-year-old brother to Lincoln Sky who runs in the opening race, is out of the O’Reilly mare Dating and cost $180,000 as a yearling.
It is a good family as Dating, a multiple Group III winner of five races, was the third highest filly on the Free Handicap of 2009-10 and is a sister to five-race winner Miracle Miss, the dam of stakes winner Maritimo.
Drawn nicely in gate five, Latta expects rider Robbie Hannam will be able to jump out and possie up in fifth or sixth place.
And she says he will be better suited to the 1600 metres of Saturday’s race, than the 1400 metres of his fresh-up run.
The sole glitch in Lincoln Star’s formline was in his final start last campaign when he beat only one home in a very strong premier three-year-old race at Te Rapa in April won by Karisto.
Latta says the only worry with Lincoln Star is the rapidly drying track - “he really wants the fire out of it.”
Two vital gear changes
Hannam will also be on board Lincoln’s Gal in the second race when Latta is banking on two vital gear changes to help the Australian-bred I Am Invincible mare.
Lincoln’s Gal has been in the money in six of her 10 starts but the fact she has won only once can be put down to her poor barrier manners.
A good fresh-up third at Woodville, Lincoln’s Gal again spoiled her chances at Otaki last time with a bad getaway then was squeezed up a couple of times in the run home.
“I have put the barrier blanket on her so she goes into the gates last and does not get the chance to play up,’’ says Latta.
“I have also added ear covers as it seems to stop her from getting wound up.
“Her work has been good and I’m just hoping there’s some give in the track.’’
Lincoln’s Gal raced only four times last campaign for a second and a win before she was outclassed in strong premier company behind Scott Base and Gift Of Power.
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“She has drawn perfectly in barrier seven so Robbie (Hannam) should be able to possie up just behind the pace, which is an advantage at Woodville. Her work has been very good since her last run and she should strike the perfect track for her, a dead 5. This is a very even line-up and she should be right in the finish.’’
News in brief
TOP TIP: Trainer Lisa Latta was right on the money about $35 starter Lincoln Hills who ran a terrific fourth in very strong company at Awapuni. “He would have run even closer had he not pulled himself into the ground,” Latta said. Follow him on April 25.
INVADOR HOME: Platinum Invador is back in the country and will go straight to the spelling paddock after failing in the A$2million Australian Derby. Trainer Lisa Latta says in hindsight the three runs in two weeks he had on his NZ Derby camapign left him a tired horse.