Riddell can turn around Lincoln King’s Shocking luck at Rotorua on Friday
Even before they jump at Rotorua on Friday Lincoln King has had more luck than in his last disastrous race.
Drawn three in the maiden highweight, instead of the 13 alley which sabotaged his previous run at Te Aroha, the Shocking four-year-old looks a solid winning chance stepping up to the middle distance he needs.
It was almost as if the gods were smiling on trainer Stephen Marsh when, after protracted attempts to find a suitable jockey failed, and it looked like he might not run, the club split the highweight into two races and he ended up with the best rider in Jonathan Riddell.
It made up for Lincoln King’s last race which Marsh described as “a disaster from barrier rise.”
After jumping too well for his own good, Lincoln King was posted very wide and rider Troy Harris spent half the race pulling him back trying to find cover.
Never closer than three wide, he was pushed six wide turning for home before being skittled in a melee 200 metres from home.
Marsh has not gone back on his prediction at that time that Lincoln King can win his first attempt over ground.
He saw enough in the horse’s debut fifth over 1600 metres at Pukekohe when he jumped, settled in behind the speed, and challenged halfway down the straight, looking like he might even run into the placings at the 200m.
“There’s not a lot of depth in this field - a normal maiden would have been much harder - and from three he should jump and put himself in the race.
“He’s gone ahead since Te Aroha, his work has been good, and this race over 1950 metres looks like a nice easy step-up for him.
“He’s a good winning chance.’’
Lincoln King might have taken time to learn his trade but he’s bred to stay. His dam Shi Kin Fly showed staying talent, winning seven wins and $174,000. Shi Kin Fly won the Summer Cup (2400m) at Trentham and ran second in the St Leger (2500m).
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Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them
Saturday at Trentham
Race 1: Lincoln’s Kruz
“He has come through his unlucky Awapuni run well and I am very happy with him heading into Saturday. We could have waited for Wednesday at Hastings where there’s a maiden 3yo 1400m but given there are only two winners in this race, and it’s worth $30K, it seemed a better option. If he can get some luck in the running this time he can be right in the finish.”
Race 2: Lincoln Raider
“He lightened off after the trip south but has quickly put the weight back on and I am happy with him. This is a drop in class from his last run at Riccarton but there are some handy types in the field in Miss Labasa, Times Ticking and Savette. His work has been good and with Kozzi Asano’s 2kg claim bringing his weight down to 58.5kg I expect him to be very competitive.”
Race 2: Lincoln Hills
“He ran a great race last time after being caught wide at Awapuni and has come through it well. He again has an awkward draw to overcome but there doesn’t appear to be an abundance of pace except for Miss Labasa so we will be positive on him. If he can run up to his best form, he is capable of being right in the finish.”
Race 3: Kamanda Lincoln
“Sam Collett felt he needed the run at Otaki last start. The new bit definitely helped him settle and he has a lovely draw again to get a nice run. I haven’t done a lot with him since he raced but I am very happy with him. Kozzi Asano will claim 2kg, down to 53.5kg.”
Race 3: Johnny Lincoln
“He gets in at a nice weight and is thriving. There was a lot of speed in the race at Awapuni which allowed him to finish well but there is no real natural front-runner in here so we may need to make sure he is put into the race. I am expecting another top run from him.”
Race 9: Platinum Road
“It’s a special condition maiden but there are only three winners in it so it’s more like a maiden for him. He ran a top race at Awapuni last time and will be better for that experience over 1600 metres. He has drawn well in barrier three and should again be able to get a lovely run just in behind the speed. He keeps improving and I expect him to hit the line really well again on this big, roomy track. Leith Innes will ride.”
Sunday at Waipukurau
Race 1: Ajay Lincoln
“He was beaten by the muddling pace and on-speed bias at New Plymouth last time. Robbie (Hannam) has always been adamant he will get up over ground and he gets his chance here. We will be positive from the gates and get him into the race to give him every chance to step up and show something.”
Race 2: Benny Lincoln
“Finally he’s got a nice draw. He has kept improving with the good tracks and, while this may be a touch short of his best distance, as long as he is finding the line I will be happy. He has a great attitude - he wants to be a racehorse - but he has just taken a while to mature.”
Race 4: Lincoln Hanover
“From a great one draw he should be able to get a lovely run in behind the speed. Robbie thinks he will get up over more ground but I have chosen to give him one more start over 1200 metres first. He is certainly capable of taking out this race.”
Race 5: Lincoln’s Gal
“She has a nice draw (four) to use and hopefully Robbie can end up in the one-one on her. She will strip far fitter on Sunday. I toyed with stepping her up over more ground but, given she blew out fresh-up, I felt another 1200 metre race was better for her. She placed in her only previous run at Waipukurau and I am expecting a far better effort this time.”