Our boy Tommy makes the cut for the Inters but he’ll have to make do with a trial to fit him
Trainer Mark Dux is confident Tommy Lincoln will strip fit for the upcoming Interdominion series in Brisbane despite not being able to start him in a lead-up race.
Lincoln Farms’ six-year-old was sitting 26th when final rankings were released today for the 36-horse pacing championship.
A slew of defections, including all 10 of leading trainer Emma Stewart’s entries, saw just 49 horses remaining, with final acceptances taken on Monday when it will become known if tired New Zealand Trotting Cup winner Swayzee will take his place or not.
There will be no New Zealand-trained runners at the carnival with no trotters listed and the sole remaining pacer, Lincoln Farms’ Simply Sam, not making the trip.
But there are a number of former Kiwis, including Tommy Lincoln, who has won eight races campaigning in Queensland since June, 2021.
Dux had planned to give Tommy Lincoln a prep race, given he has not been seen since April, but not enough horses accepted either last week or this week to get the races off the ground.
So Dux will revert to trialling the horse at Albion Park on Friday instead.
“He’ll have a nice, sold trial, without killing him, and that should have him ready. He only needs one good blowout as he comes to hand quickly.”
Tommy Lincoln has already shown he has come back in great order when a five metre second in a 1660 metre trial on November 6 when winner Make Mine Memphis was credited with a sizzling mile rate of 1:50.6, a figure which Dux doubts is correct.
And, while Dux knows Tommy Lincoln isn’t up to beating series favourite Leap To Fame, he believes the horse will cope with the rigorous competition as well as any of his rivals.
Runners must race three times in eight days, the heats run on Friday, December 1, Tuesday, December 5 and Saturday, December 9, with the A$500,000 Ladbrokes Pacing Grand Final a week later.
“I don’t think it will worry him too much. He’s a pretty good doing horse. The third heat over 2680 metres will be the worst race for him (he failed three times in as many attempts over 2700 metres in New Zealand) but not many horses will come through it smiling.”
Dux is hoping Tommy can get a good draw in the opening round when he will be best suited by the 1660 metre sprint.
“A good draw would make a big difference but we won’t be driving him like a good thing. We’ll drive him conservatively.
“It’s been a bit frustrating not getting a race into him but I’m more than happy with where he’s at.”
The final rankings for the trotting and pacing series can be found here.
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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.”