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Princess Amelie, rails, is in top form but will need luck at Otaki on Friday. PHOTO: Peter Rubery/Race Images.

Princess Amelie chasing more black type on Friday but the outside gate worries Lisa

Trainer Lisa Latta is hoping the outside gate hasn’t robbed Princess Amelie of her chance to gain more black type in Friday’s Listed $50,000 Levin Stakes at Otaki.

The mare, placed in the Stewards at Riccarton at her last start in 1:08.69, draws gate nine, one inside likely hot favourite Ferrando.

And with Graeme Rogerson’s speedster certain to strike straight for the lead, Latta hopes he can give her mare a nice drag across the field.

Trainer Lisa Latta says Princess Amelie is a lazy mare who needs to be stoked up to run hard early.Trainer Lisa Latta says Princess Amelie is a lazy mare who needs to be stoked up to run hard early.“That’s her only chance really - to get across without doing too much work. That draw is very awkward for her as she’s not a natural early runner. She’s a very lazy and laid back mare and you really have to push her to get her going.”

With a number of fast horses likely to be kicking up inside her, Latta fears Princess Amelie will either have to work hard for too long or will be posted.

Latta will line up Princess Amelie in great nick, a week in the paddock after her South Island sojourn having freshened her up nicely.

But she is realistic about being able to beat Ferrando, who has placed in the last two Telegraph Handicaps at Trentham and has proven he can carry big weights and win.

Last year Ferrando won fresh-up at Otaki in late October lumping 60.5kg, half a kilo more than he has on Friday. And Ferrando has had the benefit of a run this time in, collared late by Media Sensation under 60kg in the Listed Legacy Sprint at Te Rapa on November 9.

Media Sensation was in receipt of 7kg that day, the same advantage Princess Amelie gets at Otaki, leaving the door open for Latta to hope for a similar result.

Princess Amelie would prefer some jar out of the ground, but while the footing was a dead 5 today, the track is expected to dry markedly in the next two days with no rain predicted.

“But you can normally get away with one run on firm ground,” she says.

Kamanda Lincoln has won over 2500 metres at Riccarton. PHOTO: Ajay Berry/Race Images.Kamanda Lincoln has won over 2500 metres at Riccarton. PHOTO: Ajay Berry/Race Images.Latta is expecting a much improved run from Kamanda Lincoln when he steps up over 2300 metres in the opening race, now she has fitted him with a Norton bit.

The device, which has a double mouthpiece and a nose strap, is very effective on hard pullers and Latta says that’s what’s been bringing him undone.

“He’s been settling a lot better in his work with this bit so I’m hoping it will help him on Friday as these staying races have been so muddly run lately.

“He needs the pace on to produce his best and with the small field it could turn into a cat and mouse affair.

“You can’t take him to the front or he’d pull himself into the ground but I’m hoping Sam (Collett) can get him into the one-one and he might settle better.

“Sam gets on very well with him and he can be right in the finish given the right tempo.”

Kamanda Lincoln might have finished only eighth in his last start over 2100 metres but the run was better than it looked as he covered a lot of extra ground, especially when shunted out very wide turning for home.

He is proven at longer distances, having won over 2500 metres at Riccarton.

Lincoln Green (race six) steps up to 1600 metres after a fresh-up win over 1400 metres but Latta says he’s going to need further to be competitive up in the grades.

And she says her gut feeling is Platinum Spirit (race three) with his high knee action, could be a wet tracker, rather than just a horse looking for a middle distance, which he gets on Friday.

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

Saturday at Trentham

Race 3: Lincoln Raider

“He has come through his last run at Awapuni well and meets a handy line up with Sinarahma, who beat us last time, the danger. While the inside is not an ideal draw for him we have one of the best aboard in Opie Bosson and I’m sure he’ll find a path through them. This race looks well within his capabilities and he will enjoy being back on the roomy track where he has won three of his four races.”

Race 6: Platinum Road

“He won his first race here in December and ran a top third at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day. He has pleased me with how he has come through the trip away and I’m very happy with him. He gets in on the minimum weight of 54kg and meets a field of older horses that has some form in it. But this race fits in well with his derby programme and I’m expecting another top run from him.”

Race 9: Kamanda Lincoln

“I’ve changed his gear and gone back to the ring bit. I’ll be instructing Darryl (Bradley) to try to get handier to them as he’s been giving the opposition too big a start. Over 3200 metres there’s no reason why he can’t be closer. He ran ninth in the cup last year after starting from barrier 17 so I think the better draw is the key to his chances. He gets in on the minimum of 53kg.”

Race 9: Johnny Lincoln

“He’s been running very honest races and keeps grinding away so I feel the distance will suit him. He has continued to please me in training and, while I would have preferred a better draw, we will look to roll forward with him and hopefully Robbie (Hannam) can get a nice spot. These races are won by horses who can run out the 3200 metres strongly and I am really looking forward to seeing how he performs.”

Race 10: Lincoln Star

“I have brought him back in distance after his last run over a middle distance on Boxing Day. He has drawn well and should be able to get a nice, economical trip in midfield. The big track will suit him and has run some very good races over 1600 metres so, if he can reproduce his best form, he is capable of being right in the finish. His recent work has been good.”

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

Monday at Otaki

Race 3: Lincoln Town

“He was disappointing in his jumpout when ridden in behind. His trackwork since has been only fair but he is an average track worker anyway who only does as much as he has to. All his form has been on rain-affected tracks so we will see on Monday whether he can go on top of the ground.”

Race 5: Benny Lincoln

“He ran a cracking race last time at Otaki and will appreciate the step-up to 1600 metres. He will also be against his own age group here. His work has been good and this looks a very winnable race for him.”

Race 6: Lincoln Lane

“He’s first-up after a long break but has improved a lot since his jumpout and has a good draw to use. I will be happy to just see him doing his best work at the finish.”

Race 7: Master Lincoln

“He ran a very good fourth when resuming and has trained on very well since. He has an awkward gate to overcome but it’s only a moderate field. Any give in the track will help his chances as his best form appears to be on dead surfaces.”