Driver Zachary Butcher gives trainer Ray Green his after-race report

Ray in love with Recco

Ray Green has been around long enough to know there are no certainties in racing but if Recco Lover goes down at Cambridge on Friday night he’ll be mighty surprised.

“He’s potentially as good as anything I’ve had,’’ says Green who is tipping a good night for the stable. “Soundness is his only issue but he’s magic at the moment and if we can keep him that way he could be anything.’’

Green says Recco Lover was plagued with unsoundness through this two-year-old and three-year-old seasons.

“He was very slow maturing and couldn’t cope with the work. He had soft bones and we found little fractures around his stifles - we’ve done a lot of vet work to get him back.

“He has the ability of a cup horse and should kill them on Friday. He won’t be on top of his game after only two workouts but looking at the field he won’t have to be. Our other runner Trojan Banner looks to be his main danger.’’

Recco Lover, who lines up in gate four in the sixth race, rounded off his preparation with a very encouraging run at the Pukekohe workouts last Saturday.

Fourth behind topliners Star Galleria, On the Cards and Mach Shard, Recco Lover was timed to run his last quarter in 26.5 by driver Andre Poutama.

Star Galleria, one of the best pacers in the country, was clocked to run the 2500 metres in a cracking 3:12.5, home in 56.6 and 26.1.

On Friday the Bettor’s Delight four-year-old drops down in class to rating 57 to 63 opposition.

Banner a real Trojan this prep

Trojan Banner, drawn three, has come back a much stronger horse as a three-year-old, says Green, and is also trialling well, finishing just a neck and a head from stablemate Beaudiene Western last Saturday.

Green is tipping a profitable season for the Bettor’s Delight colt, who is out of a sister to New Zealand Cup winner Mainland Banner, and scored wins at Cambridge and Auckland last prep.

Green tips a big showing from Make Way in the seventh race on Friday night.

Having his first start since being narrowly photo-finished into fourth behind Another Masterpiece in the Harness Jewels at Cambridge in June, the Mach Three colt has been trialling strongly.

Last Saturday he finished just a neck behind stablemate I’mallaboutthebase at Pukekohe, home in 57.4 and 26.8.

“He’s really thrived since he’s been back.’’

Green says I’mallaboutthebase (race 9) should win a couple of race quite quickly for the stable.

Sent north from Woodlands in Southland by owner Steve Baucke, the mare had overcome a little knee issue and would be better for her first two runs.

“She had to go 2:41 in her first start at Auckland which was a bit alien to her. This is a good race for her to win as it’s for the boys and is penalty free.’’

While Green says everything being equal Northview Hustler (race 8) cannot beat Star Galleria with only a 10 metre start, but he could be Johnny-on-the-spot if anything goes wrong with the hot favourite.

“He’s come back super, has put weight on, and is a real gladiator. I’m expecting a big season from him. He’ll pick up some nice cheques.’’

Our runners this week

Saturday night at Albion Park


Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

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.”

Whales Harness