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Perfect Stride has felt flat in his work over the last few days.

Perfect Stride not so perfect so he’ll have a week off

Lincoln Farms’ assault on the Young Guns heat at Auckland on Friday night is down to four after trainer Ray Green decided today to scratch Perfect Stride.

The younger brother to champion Chicago Bull had drawn gate three and would have started a warm favourite after his dominating win in the last two-year-old feature.

But Green says the colt, raced by leading Australian owner Emilio Rosati, has not been himself in the last few days and he won’t be taking any risks with him.

“Zac (Butcher) said he didn’t show his usual zip in his workout last Saturday and Andre (Poutama) also said he didn’t feel his usual self in his work this morning.

“There’s obviously something not quite right so we’ll get the vet out to see if we can find a problem and he’ll probably have a week off.’’

With Perfect Stride out, the $25,000 race will have only five starters, Lincoln Farms looking a chance to have the first four home with Line Up, Sir Tiger, Double Or Nothing and Copy That.

Butcher, Perfect Stride’s regular driver, will switch to Line Up who has been ultra impressive in his recent workouts at Pukekohe.

The fifth runner, Eagle Watch, is trained by Mike Berger and has been unplaced in his three starts.

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.”

Whales Harness