Sir Lincoln filly Lindi Lincoln one of the fastest qualifiers all season at Pukekohe
Sir Lincoln two-year-old Lindi Lincoln clocked one of the fastest qualifying times at Pukekohe this season when she won a three-horse war at the trials today.
Trainer Ray Green’s filly led from barrier rise in the five-horse mile heat and paced a swift 2:00.6, staving off hot challenges from two Steve Telfer blue bloods, Major Mac and Mimi E Coco in a head and nose finish.
It was a faultless display from the rapidly improving filly who went nearly six seconds under qualifying time, recording closing sectionals of 57.3 and 27.4 for driver Zachary Butcher.
“I had to hold her up a bit to make sure she didn’t beat Zeuss’ record,’’ joked Butcher who trains Zeuss Bromac, a 1:59.5 qualifier in January, who has been sold and will contest Saturday’s Harness Jewels before flying to Australia.
Lindi Lincoln, who had run a close second and a first in her only two workouts at Pukekohe, is tracking exactly like her brother Rupert Of Lincoln, says Green.
“She’s very clean gaited and totally unassuming, like Rupert was. Rupert would only do enough to get the job done.’’
Rupert Of Lincoln won two of his only three starts for Green before being sold to Merv Butterworth in Australia where he has raced 12 times for six wins and five placings.
Lindi Lincoln is just the third foal of the Bettor’s Delight mare Crush, whose first foal was an American Ideal filly named Lincolns Delight, a winner in 2017 for Lincoln Farms.
Both Crush and Lindi Lincoln are owned by Green’s wife Debbie who was the first to greet the filly on her return: “See, I told you she’s going to be an Oaks filly!’’
Butterworth recruits impress
Also impressive today were two of Butterworth’s new recruits for Lincoln Farms, Ace Commander and Kiwi Bloke.
Ace Commander was taken quietly early from his 20 metre handicap in the up to rating 75 trot but driver David Butcher found the one-one 800 metres out.
And when he pulled the five-year-old out to challenge in the run home he trotted boldly to the lead, credited with a neck margin over Prince George at the line.
Ace Commander trotted the 2500 metres in 3:20, a mile rate of 2:08.7, with closing sectionals of 60.9 and 29.3.
Butcher reported the horse had trotted better today without a head pole and said he felt like he’d go best right-handed.
Ace Commander has not raced since winning his last start in March at Forbury Park but Green says he’s ready to rock now.
Also looking ready is another last start Forbury winner in Kiwi Bloke who had a real day out in the sun, leading all the way for Zachary Butcher in the 2050 metre event for rating 47 and faster pacers.
Kiwi Bloke clocked 2:35.5, a mile rate of 2:02, home from the 800 in 58.2 and 400 in 27.
And while he held only a long neck margin at the finish, it was the rating 77 horse Ivana Flybye who was doing the chasing - Kiwi Bloke is just a rating 56 pacer.
“He’s a lovely horse,’’ says Green. “A real gentleman.’’
Butcher said Kiwi Bloke felt very genuine.
“He lacks a bit of speed but he’s a real free-roller and he loved it out in front. He had his ears pricked and won it easily enough.’’
Butcher recommended Green tighten the horse’s one-legged spreader as, even though he paced well, he felt him flick his leg up the straight when he was at top speed.
Two-year-old Double Or Nothing showed he might be ready to turn around some indifferent form when he took out the qualifying and non winners’ heat over 2050 metres.
Fifth early, then in the one-one, the big Sweet Lou gelding looked to be in for an easy win when Zachary Butcher pulled him out on the home turn.
But Double Or Nothing appeared to switch off when he hit the front, getting home by only a head over Steve Telfer’s Captain Max in 2:41.6, a mile rate of 2:06.8. His closing 800 was run in 58.6 and 400 in 28.1.
“He was really chugging and felt like he was going to go whooshka,’’ said Butcher. “He was good but I had to growl at him. He can be a bit of a dummy sometimes but he’s starting to do things better than a couple of months ago.’’
Butcher suspected the horse might not have seen his opposition because he had block blinds on.
Stablemate Man Of Action did good work late for fifth from three back on the markers, driver Andre Poutama reporting he started to charge home but got a little rocky close to the line.
Poutama said he thought the horse’s hopples might need letting out.
“He was nice and relaxed in the running and went to the line well.’’
Man Of Action, a Bettor’s Delight half brother to Make Way, who is racing so well in New South Wales, has not raced since his solid debut sixth at Auckland in January. Green is likely to give him one more workout before he races but likes what he sees.
Green instructed David Butcher to let talented two-year-old Perfect Stride run a bit today after a very quiet workout last week.
And he didn’t disappoint, moving up into the one-one for the last lap and powering home out wide in the run home to finish half a length second to Barry Purdon’s Montana Lad.
The 2050 metres was cut out in 2:40.2, a mile rate of 2:05.7, with tidy closing sectionals of 58.3 and 27.
Perfect Stride is coming to hand very well after a break, Green keen to give him plenty of time to get over the virus which interrupted his autumn campaign.
A dominant winner in January, the younger brother to Chicago Bull was well below his best when he ran fourth in the Young Guns Final in March.
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Saturday night at Albion Park
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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.”