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Oh no! Sam says Kamanda Lincoln went ‘super’ - but she can’t ride him in the cup

The hunt is on for a suitable jockey after Kamanda Lincoln earned an Auckland Cup start, attacking the line hard in yesterday’s Nathans Memorial at Ellerslie.

Kamanda Lincoln did everything and more that trainer Lisa Latta wanted to see in the final cup lead-up, sprinting home when clear to finish third, 2.8 lengths behind winner Gundown and Zacada.

But she now needs to find a replacement rider for Sam Collett who is committed on Saturday for the second favourite, Avondale Cup winner Glory Days.

And getting just the right jockey is no straight forward task as Kamanda Lincoln is not the easiest horse to ride, says Latta.

Since the horse first came to Latta’s stable as a ready-to-run sales buy he has been in the habit of getting his head up and basically doing what he was taught to do - run fast.

“It’s hard for riders when he gets his head up in an awkward position.’’

Collett is now wise to all Kamada Lincoln’s foibles - yesterday she was having her seventh ride on the horse.

“Sometimes I can feel him just before the corner, 600 or 700 metres out, he starts to get his head up and change to this leg and that leg.

Kamanda Lincoln parading before yesterday’s Nathans Memorial.Kamanda Lincoln parading before yesterday’s Nathans Memorial.“So I didn’t just want to go but in hindsight I should have. I sat two strides too long and Matt (Cameron on winner Gundown) came round.’’

Collett then found herself in tight quarters and from the 250 metre mark to the 100 metres she had no way clear.

“But the more I couldn’t get a run it gave him time to get his shit together. He felt like his engines were revving up again and he actually sprinted well, whereas sometimes I feel he just grinds. He went super.’’

Collett believes the key to Kamanda Lincoln’s improved run yesterday was that the race was run at a genuine tempo - “he felt happy from the get-go.’’

Latta fears things might not be so hunky-dory if there’s no pace in the cup, a common scenario in 3200 metre races where the tempo comes right out of the race after an early burn for positions.

Latta also knows Kamanda Lincoln will need to draw well on Saturday. From a wide gate in the Wellington Cup he got too far back - “he was 18 lengths from the leader turning in” - but closed well for ninth.

Kamanda Lincoln will carry 55kg in the Auckland Cup, only 1kg less than stablemate Five To Midnight who was beaten a lip in the race last year with 58.5kg.

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