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Our former pin-up boy Trojan Banner earns headlines at The Meadowlands with 1:51 mile

Former Lincoln Farms pacer Trojan Banner has made a great start to a new campaign by winning in his first attempt at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

In just his fourth start in the States since being sold out of Al Barnes’ Queensland stable, Trojan Banner (yellow wheels) unleashed a big sprint in the home stretch to nail the former Tony Herlihy-trained Italian Delight on the wire.

In a tight three-way finish, Trojan Banner was credited with a 1:51 flat mile, after reeling off his last 400 metres in 26.6.

Champion driver Tim Tetrick drove a perfect race on the Bettor’s Delight four-year-old, starting from three on the gate and slotting him into fifth possie as Italian Delight streaked to the early lead for Andrew McCarthy.

Tetrick manoeuvred into the one-one at the three-quarters mark then eased out to make his run after hot favourite Thinkbig Dreambig in the stretch.

Trojan Banner showed all the fight which saw him rack up seven straight wins for Barnes in Queensland, and brought his US record to four starts for two wins and a third for US$23,035 in stakes.

The only time he has been out of the money was at his previous start in March when he ran a big fourth in 1:49.4, as rank outsider, in a US$50,000 Invitational at Dover Downs.

Trojan Banner is now trained by Jim King jun., for Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King.

Former Kiwis Runrunjimmydunn and The Bettormack, who were both trained here by Bunty Hughes, ran seventh and eighth.

Earlier in the night, another Lincoln Farms export from Queensland, Billy Lincoln, ran a fine US debut fourth from eight on the gate, ripping home in 26.4 behind the red hot favourite Moneyman Hill, in the hands of Kiwi star Dexter Dunn.

Billy Lincoln racked up three wins and three seconds from only seven starts for Barnes before his sale last November.

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Cambridge

Race 3: Lincoln Lou
6.39pm

“He’s a beautiful little horse and I’m looking forward to seeing him run. It’s hard to know how good he is, or how far he’ll go, but I guess we’ll find out on Friday. He’s the one to beat from the draw. If he doesn’t win, he won’t be far away.”

Race 5: Commander Lincoln
7.31pm

“I won’t be holding my breath. He tries hard enough but he lacks a bit of high speed.”

Race 8: Onyx Shard
8.55pm

“It’s two and a half months since she last raced, and she didn’t grow as much as I thought she would, but I’m expecting her to go a good race. Her last two trials have been good and she’s pulled up well.”

Race 8: Obadiah Dragon
8.55pm

“He’ll need a good trip from five but he’s not out of it. He went a good race last time at Cambridge and would be as equal a chance as Onxy Shard.”

Race 8: Beaudiene Rocknroll
8.55pm

“It’s heart-in-the-mouth stuff with him until they let them go but he should step away this time. Zac (Butcher) said the gate went particularly slowly before that race and that’s why he got impatient. I thought he did well to recover for third. If he made the front, where he goes best, he’d be hard to beat.”

Race 9: Frisco Bay
9.22pm

“He’s a tidy horse and I’m expecting a big run. We’ve sorted the problem he had with his breathing last season and he’s right in the zone now after a second and a win at the workouts.”

Mark Dux

Mark Dux’s comments

Saturday night at Albion Park

Race 5: Argyle
11.02pm NZ time

“It wouldn’t have mattered where he drew this week, he’s in the money, barring bad luck. He’s going terrific and he gets in so well at the ratings.”

Dan Costello Race Photography