Sir Tiger ran out a decisive winner on his last last trip to Cambridge. PHOTO: Phil Williams/FokusPhotography.

Tiger’s earned his stripes and he’s ready to pounce again at Cambridge

Sir Tiger will strip a lot fitter at Cambridge on Thursday night and looks well placed to open his three-year-old season on a winning note.

Sir Tiger, who with $26,549 in stake earnings was the highest earner of Lincoln Farms’ own two-year-olds in the season just ending, has drawn nicely in three in the sixth race, which looks easier than the field he faced fresh-up at Auckland last Friday night.

In his first run since June 6, when he scored decisively at Cambridge, Sir Tiger enjoyed a sweet trip in the trail. But when he shot up the passing lane to dispute the lead at the 150 metre mark, his run came to an end and he only battled into fourth, 1.6 lengths from the winner Rubens.

Trainer Ray Green had warned he might be short of a run after only two workouts and an easy week, but says he’ll be much sharper on Thursday.

“He definitely needed the run last week, when he didn’t run on as well as he normally does.

“But it looks to be a weaker field this time and he’ll be fitter. He’ll go another good race, like he always does.”

Hampton Banner … bowling along in the lead for driver Zachary Butcher.Hampton Banner … bowling along in the lead for driver Zachary Butcher.Green is also expecting a good debut from Hampton Banner courtesy of his pole position in the fourth race.

“He’s well placed to get a good trip - there’s nothing wonderful in his race and I’m sure he’ll go well.

“He’s gone from nothing to a racehorse virtually overnight but being by Bettor’s Delight you don’t really know what you’ve got until you line them up - they seem to grow another leg at the races.”

Hampton Banner wasn’t good enough to foot it with his two-year-old stablemates on his first prep but in the last couple of months has really improved.

He won his second workout back, working to the lead soon after the start and easily holding on.

And when he trialled the following week, he stuck to pacemaker Mighty Looee all the way, that horse franking the form when winning at Alexandra Park six days later.

He was solid again at last Saturday’s Pukekohe workouts, finishing fourth but only two and a half lengths behind Johnson Step.

Hampton Banner, a brother to six-race winner Scarlet Banner, has shown enough gate speed to hold his position early and could end up with a perfect trip on Thursday night.

His main rival could be Ocean Beach who looked ready to atone for his disappointing first run in the north when leading all the way 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.”

Whales Harness