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 trainers rate them

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

Wednesday at Hastings

Race 5 & 7: Platinum Appeal

“She hasn’t been 100% in her action in the last three or four days and we have some foot issues to sort out. She won’t be running. We’ll wait for Palmy next week.’’

Race 6: Authentic Charm

“I have chosen to back her up as this will be one of the last good tracks we will get - it’s a dead 4 today. We’ve got the in-form Zinjete Moki who claims 2kg down to 54.5kg. She meets a small line-up and this looks like a nice race for her in her last run for the season.’’

Race 8: Lincoln’s Gal

“She has come through her last start at Woodville very well. She beat herself that day when she missed the kick and ran home very well. With the rating 65 having being split, it means she meets a small but even field. From the good draw Jonathan Riddell should be able to possie up and be right in the finish.’’

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

Saturday at Trentham

Race 7: Platinum Rapper

“She galloped really well on Thursday and has progressed very well since her last run. The big, roomy track suits her and the conditions won’t worry her so I’m confident she’s a big chance.”

Race 8: Lincoln Fury

“I don’t want the track too heavy for him. I’ll wait until race morning to see how it is and what’s scratched but we may wait for Wanganui next Saturday. His work has been good but he just may be coming to the end of his preparation.’’

Lincoln light

News in brief

GREEN FIBRILLATES: Lincoln Green had an atrial fibrillation at Otaki on Thursday and will need a vet clearance before racing again. The horse raced keenly early but gave ground quickly near the 600 metre mark and rider Robbie Hannam did not persevere with him in the run home when he suspected there was something amiss.