Our top gallops and harness trainers reveal their Christmas-New Year stars
In-form gallops trainer Lisa Latta has singled out Charms Star as her horse to follow in the New Year.
And Lincoln Farms’ harness trainer Ray Green says you can’t go wrong staying onside with American Dealer.
Latta, who has been notching up the wins with regularity in recent weeks, will start Charms Star next at Hastings on New Year’s Day.
And what makes her such an attractive proposition is she drops back to a maiden race after finishing a solid fifth last time in a strong Eulogy Stakes, a Group III race for fillies at Awapuni.
That was only the three-year-old’s third start - she had few favours on debut then flew home late for second at her next outing.
The Per Incanto filly holds nominations for the Levin Stakes at Trentham on January 16 and New Zealand Oaks on March 20.
American Dealer has been a real find in the Lincoln Farms’ battalion at Pukekohe, his form line this season an impressive 31214521611 earning him $118,125.
He trounced his rivals last start in the Alabar Classic, mounting a superlative run from the back to win, going away.
“He never lets us down,” says Green. “And he’s racing the same horses again in the Harness Million at Auckland on New Year’s Eve.
“Barring an atrocious draw, he’s a serious chance of beating them again.”
Strangely, the little bloke continues to be shunned by punters. He’s won three of his last four starts paying $5, $3.60 and $3.90.
Lincoln Farms wishes all its followers a happy and safe Christmas and good punting over the holidays.
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Saturday at Trentham
Race 2: Lincoln Hills
“He has freshened up really nicely and hopefully we get the fire out of the ground which he really likes. His work has been really good and, while there are a few nice horses against him, we know he performs fresh-up. Sam O’Malley will claim 3kg down to 58kg.”
Race 6: Father Lenihan
“This is a big drop back in class for him and Temyia Taiaroa’s 3kg claim will bring him down to 58.5kg which I think will be a competitive weight for him. The key to him is having a nice draw and being able to sit just in behind the speed. His work has been very good and hopefully with rain about, the track comes up dead.”
Race 7: Platinum Spirit
“Ryan (Elliot) didn’t have any luck on him at all last week - he elected to go in and the gaps all closed up. He’s thrived since and all the rain has really sparked him up. He looks fantastic and I couldn’t be happier with him. Jonathan Riddell will ride and on his run last week you would expect him to be very hard to beat.”