Stratford mare’s Smokin for Ray and looks the best of Lincoln Farms’ chances on Friday night

Smokinhotcheddar only has to race up to her effort in the Northern Mares’ Classic to be hard to roll at Alexandra Park on Friday night.

Smokinhotcheddar, who Lincoln Farms’ trainer Ray Green prepares for Stratford owner Phil Fleming, ran a brave third in the Listed $40,000 feature at Auckland last week, best of the rest behind the far higher rated Plutonium Lady (R75) and Need You Now (R79).

On Friday she drops back to a rating 52 to 57 event, with only seven rivals and should get her chance from gate four.

“If she races as well as last week she’s a good chance,” says Green.

“She’s as game as they come, she just lacks a yard of speed against the good ones.”

Green took over training the four-year-old Betterthancheddar mare on the departure of former Lincoln Farms’ worker Andre Poutama and says she has become much more solid in recent weeks.

“She wasn’t 100% safe before but is quite tractable now and the vet work we had done on her has made all the difference.”

Green rates Smokinhotcheddar the best of his four runners on Friday but gives chances to each of the rest.

The Fleming-owned Hail Lucius debuts along with Arden’s Horizon in the seventh race for two-year-olds, where all bar one of the eight runners are unknown race night quantities.

“It looks an even bunch on paper and the winner will be the one which gets the best trip. Barry Purdon’s pair (Miki Montana and Montana Glory) have drawn better but I like both of ours.

“Hail Lucius is a neat little fella who has been improving every time we run him. It’s his first run off the place but he’s been trialling really well.”

By Sportswriter out of the Fleming producer Wicklow Heather, Hail Lucius is a half brother to the good pacers Hail Christian (9 wins) and Our Wicklow (11 wins).

Arden’s Horizon has been consistently good at the workouts and trials.Arden’s Horizon has been consistently good at the workouts and trials.Arden’s Horizon, a Bettor’s Delight colt out of Arden’s Rose, will be having his first start for John and Lynne Street, their business manager Ian Middleton, Green, Dave and Daphne Jones and some familiar names from other Lincoln Farms’ partnerships - the Excell Syndicate, Steve Beckett, Kevin Bell, Margaret Rabbitt and the Athenry Syndicate.

He has been a consistently good performer at the Pukekohe workouts and trials, winning on February 27 and pipped a nose by Miki Montana in his latest on March 6.

“I think both will go well but if they can just get round safely and get home well first time I’ll be happy”.

The Lincoln Farms’ attack is completed by Tartan Robyn in the sixth race, where he comes in to four after the scratching of Franco Riot.

Tartan Robyn was a huge fourth two starts back, after being attacked mercilessly in the lead, and his fifth last time behind Mimi E Coco who ran 2:40.5, also had merit.

“He’s an honest, big horse,” says Green. “He’s no star but he went well last week and is a chance.”

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