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Frisco Bay, who lines up in the last race on Thursday night, is better than his form line suggests.

Ray’s saving his best ‘til last - Frisco Bay’s the best of the night at Cambridge on Thursday

Lincoln Farms lines up six horses at Cambridge on Thursday night but you’ll have to wait until the last race to see the best chance in Frisco Bay.

The Downbytheseaside colt’s form is nothing to get excited about but he’s been racing tougher opposition at Auckland where he placed two starts back, a feat which only one of his rivals, Change Tact, has achieved.

Frisco Bay was handled quietly that night by driver Maurice McKendry and came from equal last on the home bend, unleashing the fastest closing quarter to run past all of the field except Aye Aye Captain and Shake A Leg.

Last time, however, he was put into the race early by McKendry, three wide for 700 metres of the first lap before finding one-one cover.

And while he moved up in the slushy conditions to challenge for the lead turning in, the effort told and he peaked in the final 150 metres to run seventh.

Green would like to see the horse driven quietly again this week from gate six.

“When he sat back and had one lash at them he got home really well. Like most horses he can’t burn the candle at both ends.

“But the ability is certainly there and, if things go his way, he’s a serious chance. He’d be our best chance of the night.”

Green, who bought Frisco Bay for just $9000 as a weanling and now races him with Lincoln Farms’ owners John and Lynne Street, thought the colt would have won a race long before now.

But when he didn’t live up to his early rating as potentially the best two-year-old in Lincoln Farms’ barn, Green discovered Frisco Bay’s air intake was being compromised by two little flaps in his throat, which were trimmed back in minor surgery last year.

He showed in his second run back at Auckland on March 1 that he was in better health when he fired to an early lead. It was all looking good until he was attacked hard by eventual winner Smart And Mighty and started racing too fiercely, eventually tiring to fourth.

Zachary Butcher … handles the unpredictable Lincoln Cove.Zachary Butcher … handles the unpredictable Lincoln Cove.If Frisco Bay can stay relaxed, Green thinks he can end the night on a high but he is nowhere near as confident he can start the meeting so well with Lincoln Cove (race 2).

Backed heavily to start a hot favourite in both his recent runs at Cambridge, Lincoln Cove has looked the winner each time but extinguished his chances by galloping in nearly the same spot on the home turn.

New head gear

Driver Zachary Butcher was confident a single spreader would solve the problem last time, preventing the horse from brushing his knee, but the stable has reached for new head gear this time, replacing blinds and removeable deafeners with a pacifier and fixed deafeners.

“Zac said he was travelling well when he broke last time but he’s a young, green horse who might need some more practice.

“He can win easy, peasy if he does things right but he can’t be relied on. He’ll win races but he’s too unpredictable to label.”

Green says even the most casual of punters can see it will be very hard for Leo Lincoln to win the fifth race, given its cruel wide rating band.

As a rating 48 pacer, Leo gets the pole draw, but he has to take on rivals rated as high as 64.

Two of those, Little Spike (R61) and Vessem (R64) are coming off the Northern Derby, Arna Donnelly’s pacer an excellent fourth and the Purdon runner an unlucky sixth behind Cold Chisel.

“Leo won well last time but this is much harder,” Green said. “It’s a real sign of the times, with so many horses being lost overseas, but he’s got to race somewhere, we can’t retire him, so we just have to cop it.

“From the draw he should get a good trip and if he races up to his best form he’d be a rough place chance, I suppose.”

Obadiah Dragon … tougher opposition than at Manawatu. PHOTO: Jack McKenzie.Obadiah Dragon … tougher opposition than at Manawatu. PHOTO: Jack McKenzie.Obadiah Dragon doesn’t have a wide rating band to overcome in the sixth race but the opposition he faces is still much bettor than that which allowed him to win and run third at the recent Manawatu meeting.

“He’s not the worst in the field but I won’t be holding my breath.”

Green lines up two in the seventh race, both unlikely winners with Commander Lincoln starting from the pole and Lenny Lincoln from four on the second row.

Commander Lincoln has a last-start second alongside his name but that was in a weak amateur race at Cambridge last month.

“He’s really only going for a ride round, but he might as well race as go to the trials. If he could hold up from the draw and stay handy you could hope like hell he lobs into some money but he’s not a betting proposition.

“Lenny beat only an average field last time and will need a lot of luck from the draw.”

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.”

Whales Harness