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 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.”
More news in Harness
Better draw will help Frisco but Ray’s quartet for Friday all in early stages of new prep
Argyle salutes at last and Mark confident he’ll keep the till ticking over in the next grade
Unlucky Argyle deserves to be rewarded at Albion Park tonight - just no bad luck please
Ray looking forward to Lincoln Lou and fully oxygenated Frisco Bay at Cambridge on Friday
Our runners this week
Saturday night at Albion Park
Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them
Friday night at Auckland
Race 2: Frisco Bay
“He obviously needed the run last week. He pulled his way round the field and sat outside the leader but he couldn’t cop a run like that first-up and got tired. The ability is there, whether he’s fit enough or not we’ll find out. But I expect him to go well, the three draw is much better than last week.”
Race 2: Lenny Lincoln
“He’ll probably need a race but he’s capable of running a slot. He’s unlucky not to have won a race, all three of his seconds were good. He’s got a bit better with each of his trials this time in and he got home well last Saturday, after coming widest on the turn.”
Race 3: Obadiah Dragon
“The way the race was run at Cambridge last week, his effort wasn’t bad at all. Moni (Monika Ranger) said he felt strong and, if he’d been a few slots closer, he would have been right in it. He’ll be improved for the run.”
Race 3: Leo Lincoln
“He’s very consistent - he’s only missed a couple of cheques. But he’s another just coming back and should improve with the run.”