Simply Sam has been scratched from Friday night after an abscess burst out of his heel yesterday.

Simply Sam in the wars again so the baton passes to Nirvana Franco on Friday night

Lincoln Farms’ assault at Auckland on Friday has been blunted by another injury to promising pacer Simply Sam.

Trainer Ray Green had expected Simply Sam to win the ninth race but when he brought him in from the paddock yesterday afternoon one leg had blown up and he was quite lame.

At first Green suspected it must have been a result of the injury he received when he fibrillated at Auckland at his last start, paced roughly and jumped on an ankle.

“He got a cut which we’d been treating - the pastern blew up and we didn’t want it to become infected.

“But when we got the vet today we found an abscess had blown out of his heel. It’s not a disaster and he’ll be all right.

“That might explain his gait issues in the last few weeks. It could have been brewing for a month.

“But he should be even better once this has resolved.”

Nirvana Franco … looks Lincoln Farms’ best chance on Friday night.Nirvana Franco … looks Lincoln Farms’ best chance on Friday night.The baton on Friday will now pass to Nirvana Franco in the third race.

The improving filly had no chance when a first-up ninth after getting back to last from an inside second row draw.

And while she made up useful ground in the run home, driver Maurice McKendry reported she was sucking wind from behind, a not uncommon complaint with mares.

Green has had her stitched up since and driver Zachary Butcher gave her a good tune-up at the Pukekohe workouts last Saturday, keeping her mind on the job in front and right to the line when half a length second to American Legacy.

“She’s starting to wake up and moving to the front row this time is our best chance in the race.”

Honest stablemate Major Grace should also get her chance from two.

“Andrew (Drake) gave her a beaut trip last time but she probably wasn’t quite race fit and is still on the improve.

“She’s very honest and doesn’t do anything wrong but just lacks a yard of speed.”

Louie The Punter should get every show from two in the opening race but will be all out beating the progressive Old Town Road, winner of two of his three starts, the latest in a sub 2:40 time.

“He should still go well, especially if he can lob to the front over 1700 metres,” says Green.

Louie The Punter started out with a big handicap last start from six on the gate from where he ended up at the rear.

Driver Maurice McKendry started his run three wide from the 600 and the three-year-old kept coming, running the fastest last 800 in the race in 56.4 to finish fourth.

Bet On The Tiger … gelded. PHOTO: Trish Dunell.Bet On The Tiger … gelded. PHOTO: Trish Dunell.Bet On The Tiger will be having his first race for seven weeks in the ninth race and his first since being gelded.

“Apparently the Betting Lines perform better if gelded and while he was never a nasty colt his American owners wanted him gelded.

“He’s put on a lot of weight so I’d say he’s going to need a race or two.”

Bet On The Tiger finished three lengths third behind Abhishek and Simply Sam at the workouts last Saturday.

Our runners this week

Saturday night at Albion Park


Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

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.”

Dan Costello Race Photography