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Just half a neck, a long head and half a head separate the first four home in the Pegasus. PHOTO: Ajay Berry/Race Images.

Pegasus flyer Lincoln’s Kruz a $16 chance for the Stewards and Lisa reckons he can win

TAB bookies obviously don’t share trainer Lisa Latta’s confidence in Lincoln’s Kruz in Saturday’s $140,000 Stewards Stakes at Riccarton, opening the horse only eighth favourite at $23.

But Latta believes Lincoln’s Kruz needs only a little more luck than he got when a close second in last week’s Pegasus to win this week.

Latta said the showy black turned in a super effort to be beaten just half a neck, when rider Joe Doyle struggled to find clear air late yet still thundered over his closing 600 metres in 31.98.

“Things got a bit tight in the last 100 metres but he still kicked really strongly and Joe thought he deserved to win,” Latta said.

“From the inside draw on Saturday, Joe should get a lovely run just in behind the leaders and I think, with a bit more luck in the straight, he can go one better.”

Latta said she had no hesitation in starting the horse again on Saturday after he pulled up well and ate up.

“He is looking fantastic and, if anything, has improved since Saturday. I think he will appreciate the quick back-up.”

Lincoln’s Kruz, who paid $4.70 for a place last week, and is showing $4.80 again on Saturday, managed only fourth in the Stewards last year after winning the Pegasus, beaten 5.4 lengths.

Joe Doyle (purple colours) pulls on the right rein to work Lincoln’s Kruz into the clear in last Saturday’s Pegasus at Riccarton. PHOTO: Ajay Berry/Race Images.Joe Doyle (purple colours) pulls on the right rein to work Lincoln’s Kruz into the clear in last Saturday’s Pegasus at Riccarton. PHOTO: Ajay Berry/Race Images.But he over-raced badly through the early and middle stages for rider Lisa Allpress, then was held up between the 450 and 300 metre marks.

It’s a trait which has undone the horse previously and reflects not his inability to run an extra 200 metres, rather the fact the pace is generally quicky over the shorter trip, allowing him to settle better.

That also explains why four of his six wins have been over 1000 metres.

All the horse needs on Saturday, says Latta, is a genuine tempo to allow him to produce his explosive best.

Raced by Lincoln Farms owners John and Lynne Street, their business manager Ian Middleton, Jeff and Vicky Roach, Peter and Bridget Morris, Sue Croft and Steve Haylock, Lincoln’s Kruz has won $187,550.

He isn’t the only horse Middleton will be trying to follow in the race, however, with his own galloper Kana backing up from an impressive first-day win.

The up-and-coming Tivaci mare races in the yellow and white colours of trainer Peter Didham who has trained her to win four of her 12 starts.

Didham has never backed up the four-year-old so quickly before but says she deserves her spot in the Stewards with a light weight of 53kg.

“She was stopped once or twice in straight on the first day and still picked herself up, which is hard to do over 1100 metres. At the finish she looks like she’s got more and pricks her ears.

“It would be good to get a clear run and, even though she’ll have to go up a level and improve her times by a second, I rate her a top four chance.”

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