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Kozzi Asano sits low over Lincoln Raider as he powers to the front at Trentham today. PHOTO: Peter Rubery/Race Images.

Raider’s back to his best but Lisa isn’t about to risk him by trekking round on hard tracks

Trainer Lisa Latta isn’t about to put too much strain on Lincoln Raider now that he’s right back to his best.

The powerful five-year-old gave his rivals a galloping lesson at Trentham today, making the most of a big drop in class to rating 72 company to come from the tail of the field with an irresistible run to win, going away, by a length and a quarter.

But while rider Kozzi Asano reported Lincoln Raider was very impressive, responding to hands and heels riding, Latta says she’s not about to start traipsing all over the country tilting at too many bigger races.

“He’s already been to Christchurch and I’m reluctant to take him up to Auckland for the Dunstan 1500 Final on Boxing Day.

“He’s had that chip out of his knee and I don’t want to be tripping away and running on hard tracks when there’s no need to.

Kozzi Asano gives the thumbs up. PHOTO: Peter Rubery/Race Images.Kozzi Asano gives the thumbs up. PHOTO: Peter Rubery/Race Images.“There are plenty of good races coming up round here. If he comes through today well there’s a nice $30,000 82 mile on Manawatu Cup day (December 21) which is on our back doorstep.

“There’s often rain round Christmas and that’s what he needs.”

Lincoln Raider, while very talented, is not ready for the big time like today’s Captain Cook Stakes, says Latta.

“He’s not a weight-for-age horse and he’s not even an open horse yet but if we’re to have a go at a decent race the Thorndon Mile is the one.”

Run at Trentham on January 18 for a stake of $200,000, it would be the perfect stage for his entry into the big time, says Latta.

“He goes so well at Wellington where the long straight really suits him.

“Kozzi let him do his own thing today and that’s the way to ride him. He’s best when he’s not being hunted up.”

Lincoln Raider has now won three races at Trentham, coming with powerhouse finishes each time.

He was still third last passing the 400 metre mark today but when Asano produced him down the outer he quickly drew in stablemate Lincoln Hills, who had burst to the front, and had the race in safe keeping in a few big bounds.

Lincoln Raider, Latta’s declared bet of the day, paid $5.50 on the tote, running the 1400 metres in 1:23.44.

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.”