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Stephen: Wait until Lincoln King steps up over ground - he works like a stayer

From the outside of the gate over only 1600 metres, Lincoln King isn’t a betting proposition at Te Aroha on Friday.

Trainer Stephen Marsh just wants to see another solid run from the four-year-old in the second race, knowing that it’s not until he steps up over ground that we’ll see his best.

The New Zealand Derby winning trainer, en route to Melbourne where he has Starrybeel running in a $150,000 race over 2000 metres at Flemington on Saturday, says it’s at that distance and further that Lincoln King should excel.

“Third up over 2000 will be the go for him,’’ says Marsh. “He’s bred to stay and he works like a stayer.’’

Stephen Marsh … Lincoln King needs a middle distance before he shows his best.Stephen Marsh … Lincoln King needs a middle distance before he shows his best.Marsh says there was plenty of merit in the Shocking gelding’s debut at Pukekohe two weeks ago.

Given the horse is a little dour, he started Lincoln King in blinkers over 1600 metres.

And he was very happy with the way Lincoln King jumped, settled in behind the speed, and challenged halfway down the straight, looking like he might even run into the placings at the 200m.

“It was exactly the run I wanted to see. He didn’t really know a lot about it, or how to let down.’’

Lincoln King finished fifth, only 3.3 lengths behind winner Flomiline, battling away bravely for rider Troy Harris on the fence.

“He’s gone on with it since but I don’t expect him to win on Friday. We were going to give it a miss after the draw came out but Te Aroha is a nice big track so Troy can let him find his feet and ride him where he’s happy.

“It would be nice to walk away after that race thinking: ‘I can’t wait to run him over 2000 metres’.”

Marsh has had Lincoln King only for about three months, all the horse’s previous tuition having been done by Peter Didham in the Central Districts.

“Dids was bang on with his insight that I should train him like a stayer because he doesn’t have a massive turn of foot.

“The horse has taken time to learn his trade but if he keeps on improving you wouldn’t know what he could do over ground. And if he can stay, racing will get easier for him because we’re light on the ground with stayers.’’

Lincoln King is out of the Shinko King mare Shi Kin Fly who showed staying talent in her career which netted seven wins and $174,000.

Shi Kin Fly won the Summer Cup (2400m) at Trentham and ran second in the St Leger (2500m), with her best win the Listed Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes (2000m).

Placed in the 2010 Group II Travis Stakes (2000m), she was retired after winning the Thames Cup (2000) in 2011.

Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

Sunday at Tauherenikau

Race 1: Lincoln Hanover

“He’s done very well since his first-up run at Awapuni and continues to please me. He has come up with the outside gate which isn’t ideal but he has the speed to get across them. The step-up in distance will help and, while the top two horses look hard to beat, he is capable of taking this out.’’

Race 6: Platinum Rapper

“She has trained on well since her first-up win. Tauherenikau is a track that does not get overly hard, which we are looking for. This race will tidy her up to head south. There are some handy types in it and she is up a rating band but I am happy with her progress and expect another good run.’’

Lincoln light

News in brief


AUTUMN PREP: Trainer Lisa Latta may consider an autumn campaign with Lincoln Falls if he comes through his gelding operation well, kicking off with the Group III Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa on April 27. The horse, who did not see out the derby trip last Saturday, went out to the paddock today for a freshen-up before visiting the vet.

RETIRED: Bush Whacked has been retired. Despite showing promise at trials the Sepoy three-year-old showed in three starts for Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh that he simply didn’t want to be a racehorse.

TOUCH FLAT: Rider Robbie Hannam told stewards he thought Platinum Touch was feeling the effects of her debut run and felt flat after beating only two home at Trentham.

LOST DREAMS: Dreams Of Platinum has been sold to Australia. The four-year-old mare won one race and placed seven times in 21 starts, earning nearly $35,000.