Ray reaches for the shades to stop Leo from switching off at Auckland on Friday night
Trainer Ray Green is hoping the addition of blinds will help keep Leo Lincoln’s mind on the job at Auckland on Friday night.
The Art Major two-year-old appeared to throw away a win last week when, just 50 metres from home he eased off the pedal, allowing two runners to swamp him by half a head and half a neck.
When driver Andre Poutama swept up four wide turning for home and pounced on the leaders, Leo Lincoln looked to be in for his second win as a maiden - a rare luxury because his dead-heat win at Cambridge in August meant he didn’t go up in grade.
It was a good effort considering from five on the gate, he was trapped out three wide in no man’s land round the first turn.
Leo starts from the same position on the arm on Friday night but is drawn inside the likely favourite, The Telfer-trained Slots.
“Hopefully he can get in sooner this week and he should go better,” Green said. “They went 2:41.7 last time too and it was only his second run for a while so he probably needed it.”
Green’s own horse My Copy gets his chance at odds when he drops significantly in grade in the third race.
Don’t be fooled by his last-start eighth in a rating 47 to 53 race - it was much better than it would appear on paper.
Forced to drop back to the rear from the outside gate, driver Maurice McKendry was still last turning for home but made good ground to finish only four lengths from Nelson’s Boy. Only one horse in the race bettered My Copy’s closing sectionals of 55.4 and 28.2.
On Friday night he runs in an average looking rating 41 to 46 race, his only handicap a niggly gate.
“Six is a tricky draw so he’ll need luck,” Green said. “But you can’t fault anything he’s done this time in and this field is a lot easier than last time.”
Green can’t see Onyx Shard matching her stablemate from the outside draw.
“She’s had no chance with the draws and trips she’s been getting. From the outside she’s going to struggle to get a decent run again but hopefully she’ll finish on well.”
Simply Sam and Lincoln River both look chances in the sixth race, Green favouring Sam because of his better turn of foot.
“River lacks a bit of high speed but makes up for it by being very rugged and he’s drawn to get a good trip.
“He’s such a little pro I think he’ll manage the step up in class.”
Simply Sam had a couple of excuses for finishing only sixth last week.
Bottled up three back on the pegs, Poutama was frustrated for a pegs run behind eventual winner Miki Shan and was only two lengths away at the line.
“I took a blood off him also which showed he was slightly tied up which explains his lack of enthusiasm at the finish.
“I’m hoping he’s better this week and, with his speed, if he’s sitting on River’s back you’d expect him to roll over the top of him.”
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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.”