Menu

Ray looking forward to Lincoln Lou and fully oxygenated Frisco Bay at Cambridge on Friday

“It’s like he’s been here before. He seems to know what to do.”

You can’t help but be impressed by trainer Ray Green’s description of Lincoln Lou who debuts in the first two-year-old race in the north at Cambridge on Friday night.

Given winning early two-year-old races is almost as much about doing things right as having precocious speed, Lincoln Lou ($2.80) looks a great chance, drawn to lead from the pole in the third race.

“He’s done nothing wrong at all,” says Green. “He’s a beautiful little horse and I’m looking forward to seeing him run.

“He’s quite an unassuming horse, you wouldn’t get carried away with his training, he only does what he has to. But he lifts his game when it matters.”

Lincoln Lou has taken the eye in each of his three trials and workouts, beaten only once when pipped late at Alexandra Park on February 9 by race rival Great White.

Green sees Tony Herlihy’s Great White and stablemate Roy Kent as the logical dangers but says from the draw, Lincoln Lou is the one to beat.

“He has good gate speed but at the trials they’ve let him lead. It’s hard to know if one of the others will change their plan of attack.

“It’s hard to know how good he is, or how far he’ll go, but I guess we’ll find out on Friday. If he doesn’t win, he won’t be far away.”

Lincoln Farms’ owners John and Lynne Street will race Lincoln Lou in partnership with the Cantabrians Plus One Syndicate, the Excell Syndicate, the Green Machine Racing Syndicate, Phil Kelly, David Turner, Brad Baine, Alana Rabbitt, Margaret Rabbitt and the Athenry Syndicate.

Lincoln Farms’ confidence in Lincoln Lou was revealed when it went to $62,500 to buy a Downbytheseaside half brother at the Karaka yearling sale last Sunday.

Frisco Bay was looking very promising as a two-year-old. PHOTO: Trish Dunell.Frisco Bay was looking very promising as a two-year-old. PHOTO: Trish Dunell.Green is just as excited about the return of Frisco Bay ($3) in the last race, given he initially believed the colt would be his best two-year-old last season.

We never saw it in three raceday starts but it soon became obvious that all was not well with the Downbytheseaside colt.

“We knew something was going on when we heard him making a noise in training a couple of times and he started coming in blowing like hell.”

That simply didn’t fit with the colt who was unbeaten in his first four trials and workouts and whose low heart rate so impressed Green he knew he had a good motor.

“Thankfully we caught it in time and averted disaster,” Green said.

A verterinary inspection revealed Frisco Bay’s air intake was being compromised by two little flaps in his throat, which were trimmed back in relatively minor surgery last year.

“It had probably been developing from day dot so to do what he did under those conditions was amazing. He would have been gasping for air.”

Green says there has been no sign of any recurrence since and Frisco Bay is right in the zone after a second and a win at the workouts, the latest cruising home in 57.6 and 27.5.

“He’s a tidy horse and I’m expecting a big run.”

Green’s chances of winning three races on Friday night rest with the trio of Beaudiene Rocknroll, Onyx Shard and Obadiah Dragon in the eighth race.

Beaudiene Rocknroll … capable front-runner at Cambridge. PHOTO: Chanelle Lawson.Beaudiene Rocknroll … capable front-runner at Cambridge. PHOTO: Chanelle Lawson.Beaudiene Rocknroll ($4.50) has the best credentials of the three, dropping in class, but his chances will depend on how he behaves behind the gate.

“It’s heart-in-the-mouth stuff with him until they let them go but he should step away this time.”

While Beaudiene Rocknroll blew the start last time at Cambridge, galloping behind the arm and giving his rivals a start of half a dozen lengths, Green said he had an excuse. “Zac (Butcher) said the gate went particularly slowly before that race and that’s why he got impatient. I thought he did well to recover for third.”

On Friday night Butcher will be hoping that from six on the gate he can cross to the lead, where the horse relaxes best. He showed that again at last Thursday’s Pukekohe workouts, in an all-the-way win over Hesashorething and Hail Lucius, home in 57.5 and 27.5.

Onyx Shard has the best draw of the Lincoln Farms’ trio and Green says she should be right in the hunt from two.

“It’s two and a half months since she last raced, and she didn’t grow as much as I thought she would, but I’m expecting her to go a good race. Her last two trials have been good and she’s pulled up well.”

Obadiah Dragon will need a good trip from five but Green says he’s not out of it.

“He went a good race last time at Cambridge and would be as equal a chance as Onxy Shard.”

In his last start on December 29, Obadiah Dragon enjoyed a one-one trip, hit the lead turning for home and was swamped only late by the much improved Hampton.

Green says he won’t be holding his breath when Commander Lincoln lines up from a niggly six draw in the fifth race.

“He tries hard enough but he lacks a bit of high speed.”

Our runners this week

Saturday night at Albion Park

Captain Nemo.

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Thursday night at Cambridge

Race 1: Major Achievement
5.19pm

“It’s his first race for a while and he hasn’t been setting the world on fire at the workouts. But he’s been racing better animals and this isn’t a stellar bunch. He’s a chance if things go his way. I’ve given Mathew Salaivao the drive.”

Race 1: Commander Lincoln
5.19pm

“He’s an average horse but the last time he raced here in amateur company he all but won. He’ll need luck from the second row but, while I couldn’t label him, he’s a runner’s chance.”

Race 5: Onyx Shard
6.59pm

“She got a bit sick for a while with a virus and I had to back off her. She seems over that now but I’m picking she’ll need a race. This will be like a glorified trial for her.”

Race 8: My Copy
8.14pm

“He came to the end of it so I gave him a little freshen-up and he seems in good shape again. It will be interesting to see how he goes fresh - he may need a race but he’ll appreciate the step-down in class. I’m running him here so he doesn’t come up against any bear cats first-up.”

Race 9: Lincoln Cove
8.47pm

“Hopefully he’s getting better but you’ve just got to take him on trust. He has ability but the desire has been sadly lacking. Zac will have to sit quietly on him as he broke when given only one tap with the stick last time. The small field will suit him as he won’t be too far off them. If he doesn’t make any mistakes, he’ll give them a fright.”

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 3: Leo Lincoln
6.43pm

“Maurice said he would have finished a lot closer last time than sixth (fourth or even third) had he not locked wheels at the 100. That took all his momentum away. He’s been holding his form well and he gets out well enough to use the inside draw. He’s a chance to get some of the money.”

Race 5: Sugar Ray Lincoln
7.39pm

“He did have marks on his boot after his last run and trying a spreader on him has helped. But he’s a real baby. He has real ability but he’s still developing mentally and physically and we’re still finding our way with him.”

Race 5: Lincoln Lou
7.39pm

“He’s racing well but he’ll find it tough from the outside draw.”

Race 6: Debbie Lincoln
8.07pm

“I can’t see her improving enough to give the Purdon/Phelan trio a fright. She can go (fast) enough but still has a lot to learn. The main thing for her is getting round safely. She’s put two in a row now so hopefully she’ll start improving.”

Race 10: Lincoln La Moose
9.59pm

“He had an excuse last time - he got wiped out on the first corner and that was the end of his race. I like him, he’s a nice horse, just not quite as experienced as Frisco Bay.”

Race 10: Frisco Bay
9.59pm

“I lean towards Frisky as the better chance of our two. You can’t fault what he did the other night at Cambridge, and he seems to be on the improve. He’s more reliable than Lincoln La Moose.”

Race Images - Harness