Ray pretty chuffed with his new juvenile crop - blue bloods and cheapies in promising trials
The advanced guard of Lincoln Farms’ new juvenile crop trialled for the first time at Pukekohe on Saturday, leaving trainer Ray Green suitably impressed with their flawless performances.
Green lined up all four of the runners in the colts and geldings’ heat over a mile and at the finish they were spread across the track with nothing between them.
The judge’s margins were a nose, a neck and half a head with Argyle getting the nod over Simply Sam, Next To Me and Sugar Apple, the trip cut out in 2:05.1.
None of the two-year-olds were asked for too much in their first official trial but it was the most expensive yearling, $210,000 colt Argyle, who led out for David Butcher, before taking a trail behind Simply Sam, a mere $25,000 yearling buy.
Simply Sam, an American Ideal - Simply Stunning colt, ran along boldly in front for Stephen Butcher, and was still pacing strongly at the line after the final 400 in a slick 27.4.
Argyle, who moved out to park down the back straight, looked big and strong while the well bred Bettor’s Delight colt Next To Me, a $200,000 yearling brother to 12-race winner Maxim, also picked up well for Zachary Butcher.
Andre Poutama was particularly pleased with the effort of $30,000 colt Sugar Apple, a half brother to Lincoln Farms’ top class three-year-old American Dealer.
“I was really happy with him. He found the line really well.”
Green also lined up three babies in the learners’ 1609 metre heat taken out by the Zachary Butcher-trained three-year-old Zarias.
And it was Bettor’s Delight colt Arden’s Horizon whose late spurt into third for Poutama took the eye.
At the line he was just three-quarters of a length and a neck away, in front of stablemates Major Grace and Nirvana Franco.
The first foal of the Somebeachsomewhere mare Arden’s Rose, he cost $55,000 and is from the family of Victoria Cup winner Bettor’s Strike.
Art Major filly Major Grace, who slotted into the one-one down the back for Zachary Butcher, was only three lengths from the winner in fourth, while the beautifully bodied but slightly green Nirvana Franco (Bettor’s Delight - Nearea Franco) was further back in fifth for David Butcher.
The heat was run in 2:03, two seconds faster than the two-year-old colts and geldings’ heat, the closing 800 in 59.3 and 400 in a fast 26.7.
Lincoln Farms is in the process of taking partners in the class of 2020 but they won’t be seen on the racetrack until February - the Young Guns series, which traditionally would have already started, has been rescheduled by the Auckland Trotting Club.
Copy That ‘perfect’
Copy That had the better of fellow Auckland Cup contender Amazing Dream in the fast class heat over 2500 metres.
From the time Maurice McKendry swished round to take the lead from stablemate American Dealer, the result never looked in doubt.
Copy That reeled off his last 800 metres in 57.4 and 400 in 26.4 to beat Amazing Dream by one and a quarter lengths with just three-quarters of a length to American Dealer in a run which McKendry described to Green as “perfect.”
“Maurice said he was really on to it and I’ll give him another workout next Saturday and he’ll be spot on for the cup.”
Copy That and Amazing Dream are equal second favourites for the $200,000 Woodlands Stud Auckland Cup on December 31 behind Spankem ($2.70).
In other heats, Captain Nemo trailed but could finish only three lengths fourth behind the Telfer-trained Show Me Heaven.
Driver Zachary Butcher reported the horse blew out 100 metres after starting his home stretch burst and would need another workout to get him fit for the $200,000 Harness Million on December 31.
Themightyserina ran third in the up-to-rating 50 workout over 2050 metres, after making a sweeping run three wide round the field with 500 metres to run. Brodie Lindenny weakened to fifth after trailing third then sitting parked.
Franco Nandor hit the lead briefly in the run home in the rating 52 and faster workout but was quickly swamped by the All Stars’ trio Pace N Pride, Riveered and First Class, finishing two necks and half a length away.
The 2050 metre heat was run at a sharp click with the closing 800 in 56 and 400 in 26.9.
Brian Christopher trailed throughout but could not sprint with his rivals in the run home and ran last.
(NB: Franco Nandor actually wore saddlecloth 1 and Brian Christopher 2, not the other way as programmed.)
More news in Harness
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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.”