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Oh so easy for Trojan Banner - and there’s plenty more to come, promises Al

Trojan Banner’s New Zealand owners can look forward to regular Friday wins, says Queensland trainer Al Barnes.

The three-year-old, raced by Lincoln Farms and a big partnership, made short work of his rivals in his first start in Australia today at Albion Park.

In virtually a carbon copy of Barnes’ pre-race prediction, Trojan Banner came off the arm steadily, and when balanced up driver Hayden Barnes moved forward to take up an easy lead.

The horse was never challenged after and cruised home to win by 7.6 metres, clocking a mile rate of 1:55.6 for the 1660 metres.

Barnes never got serious as he ran a closing 800 metres in 56.4, giving the horse one flick with the whip when he had his ears pricked, seemingly waiting for his rivals.

Al Barnes, who stayed home in Marburg today to make sure his team was safe in a wild storm, says his son was thrilled with the effort and reported Trojan Banner had a good blow afterwards but pulled up well.

Al Barnes … huge improvement left in Trojan Banner.Al Barnes … huge improvement left in Trojan Banner.“He said he wouldn’t mind trying pull down (blinds) on him to make him concentrate but we’ll leave him for a few runs and maybe try them when the pressure goes on to make him sharper.

“He is a colt after all and they only do what they have to.’’

Barnes says there’s a huge amount of improvement still to come in Trojan Banner.

“I was pleased to see him do that today, given the hot weather we’ve had. It was still 33 degrees today with about 90 percent humidity.’’

Barnes now plans to race Trojan Banner regularly on Friday afternoons and says he should easily go through the grades, winning another five races before the opposition gets tougher in class three to four.

“He’s still eligible for a c0 maiden next time and that will be comfortable for him.

“He’ll race once a week in Friday grade - he earned $3394 today and little fish are sweet - before we step him up to Tuesdays where it’s a little harder but the money’s a little better.

“But I want to keep him to weak races for now to keep his confidence up and keep him assertive.’’

Trojan Banner has nearly 40 people in his ownership, the largest of all Lincoln Farms’ successful partnerships.

As well as Lincoln Farms’ owners John and Lynne Street, its business manager Ian Middleton and office staffer Merle Gradwell, there’s Carl Officer’s eight larger than life Waikato lads in the Four Legs syndicate, Steve McCormick’s mob of 23 from Christchurch’s Green Machine Syndicate, all former Marist rugby mates, Addington racing manager Brian Rabbitt and his sister Margaret, Joe and Raewyn Chojnacki, Auckland veteran Bob Best and former trainer Ray Green.

Barnes says Lincoln Farms’ second import Lincoln’s Girl will trial on Tuesday fortnight.

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

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.”

Al Barnes

Al’s comments

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.’’

Anthony Butt

Ants’ comments

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.”

Race Images - Harness