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Ray excited to see what big unit The Big Lebowski can do at Auckland on Friday night

He’s no Copy That but Lincoln Farms’ trainer Ray Green is excited to see what stable newcomer The Big Lebowski can do in the last race at Auckland on Friday night.

The Big Lebowski, as big and tough as his name suggests, brings top form north from Southland where he has won his last two starts for Melbourne owners Merv and Meg Butterworth.

“I’m expecting a good run from him,” Green said. “He trialled super last Friday against much better horses than he meets this week.”

The Big Lebowksi trailed in his 2500 metre workout heat at Pukekohe, fighting strongly at the finish to be just a nose and three-quarters of a length behind Kango and Old Town Road, who run in Friday night’s feature, the Roy Purdon Memorial.

“He seemed to handle the right-handed way easily enough,” Green said.

“He’s a nice big horse and I think he’ll be quite competitive up here.”

The Big Lebowksi powers to the line to win comfortably at Ascot Park in his last start.The Big Lebowksi powers to the line to win comfortably at Ascot Park in his last start.The Big Lebowski last raced at Invercargill on April 23, when forced to go back to midfield after being trapped wide from the outside gate. He worked round to lead before the bell and kicked away to beat Nutcracker by one and three-quarter lengths in the manner of a horse reaching his peak.

Green was forced this morning to scratch Simply Sam from the same race, fearful that he might run foul of the new with-holding times after the horse’s joints were treated with Kenacort, a commonly used cortisone which cannot now be given within 16 days of racing, double the previous safe period.

Green was not happy about the missed opportunity and said the changes would now start to impact on many more owners just when harness racing was in dire need of more starters, not fewer.

To his knowledge there had been no recent cases of positive tests even under the old eight-day rule for cortisone injections.

Green said injecting joints was not a case of trainers trying to cheat - the treatments were part of routine maintenance to keep horses racing at their best on the track.

Green lines up another talented runner, part-owned by the Butterworths, in the opening event in Beaudiene Rocknroll who could go better than his shocking barrier draw of four on the second row would suggest.

“He’s at the mercy of others back there but, if he gets a reasonable trip, he’s a chance. He’s a nice horse who is going well.”

Beaudiene Rocknroll has looked good winning his last two workouts, in front all the way, for Andre Poutama who takes the reins on Friday night.

Beaudiene Rocknroll, co-raced by breeders Dave and Dawn Kennedy and Lincoln Farms’ John and Lynne Street, raced twice as a two-year-old before running into trouble.

“The reason he hasn’t surfaced again until now is he broke a pedal bone and was out for six months,” Green said.

“But it’s not surprising he’s got speed. He’s a half brother to two multiple Group I winners, Beaudiene Boaz and Beaudiene Bad Babe.

“He won’t be far off the winner’s circle.”

Green’s own runner My Copy also cops a bad alley in the ninth, and looks set to start at long odds given the race is rich in talent.

“He went super last time and has gone three good races in a row now. He’s ready to win when things go his way.”

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 1: Obadiah Dragon
6.07pm

“He’s the lowest rated in the field, so it will be tough for him, but he’s racing really well. He just doesn’t need any bad luck.”

Race 4: Lincoln La Moose
7.38pm

“You won’t see the best of him on Friday. It’s his first race since April and he’ll definitely need the run.”

Race 6: My Copy
8.31pm

“He’s no champion but he’s very honest and is always capable of finishing in the money. He only needs a fair crack at them.”

Race 7: Tyson
8.57pm

“You can forget about that debut run, it was a non-event for him the way the race panned out. He got way too far back and would need to have clocked ridiculous times to get into it. He has speed and feels like a nice horse but he’s very inexperienced. I wouldn’t expect him to round the others up but he won’t be disgraced.”

Race 7: Lincoln Lou
8.57pm

Update: Scratched on vet’s advice

“He’s a very nice colt. He’s a lot stronger this time in and he could develop into a serious horse. If he repeats his last run, he’ll be hard to beat. I think he might have the wood on Sugar Ray. He has better manners and probably a bit more speed too.”

Race 7: Sugar Ray Lincoln
8.57pm

“He won comfortably last time despite being three wide for much of the last lap and four wide turning for home. He’s a very good colt. There’s not much between him and Lincoln Lou.”

Race 9: Commander Lincoln
9.49pm

“He’s as honest as they come, he’d die for you, but he lacks a yard of sharp speed to be a serious horse. He has a draw upgrade and drops in class but things have to pan out for him.”

Mark Dux

Mark Dux’s comments

Friday night at Albion Park

Race 8: Captain Nemo
6.33pm NZ time

“It’s not an easy race and, from an average draw, we’ll drive him quietly again so he’ll be at the mercy of the tempo. If he gets the right trip, I could see him hitting the line well and sneaking into the money but after this run to tighten him up he’ll be all set to go, close to winning.”

Les Harding

Les Harding

Saturday night at Port Pirie

Race 5: Beaudiene Rocknroll
10.02pm NZ time

“I’m very happy with him and confident he’ll run a top race but it’s hard to predict how he’ll measure up given this is a big step-up in class compared with the horses he has raced against for his last two wins.”

Race Images - Harness