Over to you Sarge, see what you can do with this talented pair of Lincoln Farms stayers
Promising stayers Lincoln’s Command and Lincoln Sky fly to Australia tonight to join the Randwick stable of former premiership winner John Sargent.
The pair, who have been lightly tried with Lincoln Farms’ Awapuni trainer Lisa Latta, are making the move to Sydney to hopefully capitalise on the terrific stake money now on offer.
“The money’s so good over here now, especially at the mid-week races, which are all $50,000,’’ says Sargent.
“The Saturday handicaps are worth $125,000 and if you can get over ground you don’t have to be that strong to make good money.’’
Sargent says it’s the ideal time to be working through the grades in Sydney too when the level of competition is down until spring racing starts.
Sargent, who has 40 boxes at Randwick, says with the grounding the two horses have had in Palmerston North, it won’t take him long to get the pair going.
“I might even give them an easy trial and see how they pull up.’’
Both Lincoln’s Command and Lincoln Sky have shown plenty of potential in limited starts.
Lincoln Sky, a Savabeel three-year-old out of Dating, a Waikato Stud family which Sargent is familiar with, was spelled after finishing sixth in a strong Waikato Guineas field in February.
He has won one of his eight starts and has had two runs back in a new preparation, both over 1400 metres on ground too heavy for him.
Lincoln’s Command is rising six but had a disastrous start to his career which held him back for the best part of two seasons.
Bought for $240,000 at the 2015 ready-to-run sale, the Pentire gelding was later found to have a cyst in his stifle which needed two operations.
In only his fifth start, Latta produced him for a huge fresh-up win at Awapuni on May 30 when he was expected to need more ground than the 1550 metres - and banked a pitiful $6250.
Out of a Zabeel mare, he has the pedigree to excel over ground. His full brother Zambezi Warrior was a very talented stayer for Te Akau in 2017 while his grand dam Tall Poppy won 11 races and great grand dam Fun On The Run won 18 races.
Sargent, renowned for his success with stayers, especially fillies, was once a household name in New Zealand.
When he won the trainers’ premiership in 2012, he set a then record of 111 winners, his second premiership title after taking the Malaysian title in 2000.
He claimed his first Group I success in Australia in 2012 with Quintessential in the Queensland Oaks.
But, frustrated with the state of New Zealand racing and inaction by the industry’s leaders, he shifted to Australia soon after.
In 2013, he claimed one of Australia’s most prestigeous races, the A$1 million VRC Oaks with Kirramosa.
In April, 2015 he won the Australian Oaks with Gust Of Wind who beat Winx, the last time the superstar was beaten before her 33-win streak, and in 2017 he claimed his third Wakeful Stakes with Luvaluva.
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Thursday at Hastings
Race 6: Lincoln Town
“He’s drawn the outside but with the rail out 10 metres they’re only starting twelve horses and he has the gate speed to go forward so this will negate the draw. He worked nicely this morning and has continued to hold his condition well. I expect him to be right in the finish.”
Race 8: Ajay Lincoln
“He has a nice draw and the step-up to 1650 metres will suit. The track has come up a slow 8 and hopefully it will stay in that range as he will appreciate that better than the heavy ground he struck at Awapuni. He is finally starting to do things right and seems a lot more switched on. I’m expecting a better run from him.”
Saturday at New Plymouth
Race 1: Manhattan Street
“There’s a lot of rain in the forecast so the track should be very wet and loose track which is what he wants. We’re trying to get some miles into him so we can eventually run him in a hurdle. There are a couple of smart types in the race in My Gift and Obsessive but I’m expecting a better run from him.”
Race 6: Platinum Rapper
“She needed the run at Awapuni last time and her work has been very good since. We decided on going for the cup as she gets in on the minimum and it’s another chance to get black type with her. When she met Rosewood at weight-for-age at Wanganui there was a 1.5kg difference but she gets 5.5kg this time. We know from the Wanganui run that she is up to this company and, while this field is slightly stronger, I feel she can be right in the finish. The track conditions will suit her.”