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Lincoln River (Andre Poutama) has race rival I Expect Bettor well covered at the finish of his workout last Friday.

Take the short odds on brave Lincoln River at Cambridge on Thursday night

Against inferior opposition, improving three-year-old Lincoln River looks a standout bet at Cambridge on Thursday night.

Not even a wide draw of seven dents the confidence of trainer Ray Green that Lincoln River will take out the fifth race.

“He doesn’t have gate speed so it doesn’t matter where he draws. He can make his own luck and this is definitely a step down in class on what he’s been racing at Auckland.”

Lincoln River has shown great courage in all three of his latest starts at Alexandra Park:

  • Last time on New Year’s Eve he sat parked for the last lap, led turning for home and was only just run down half a neck and half a neck by the talented Purdon/Phelan fillies Artisan and Miki Montana.
  • On December 16 he was parked for the last 1600 metres, still led 50 metres out, and only stablemate Neptune grabbed him half a neck.
  • And on December 9, he was last turning for home, came five wide and thundered home to be beaten only a head by Ohoka Achilles in 2:41.

Gelding the key

Green says gelding the horse has made the difference.

“He’s a nice horse, always was, but gelding him has been a real plus. He was getting pretty rank, he didn’t have his head in the right place, but you can see in his recent performances what a difference it has made.

“He’s definitely the one to beat on Thursday.”

Lincoln River, on R44, is the second highest assessed horse in the race, only the out-of-form I Accept Bettor rated higher on R45.

But Lincoln River easily accounted for that runner and stablemate Next To Me at last Friday’s Pukekohe workouts.

Lincoln River led all the way in the 2050 metre heat, not tested to score by three-quarters of a length, with a final half in 58.7 and quarter in 28.

Lincoln River, who is by champion sire Bettor’s Delight out of New Zealand Oaks winner Ideal Belle, helped raise $100,000 for the Foodies Foundation last August when Lincoln Farms’ owner John Street offered a 50% share in the horse to be auctioned at Foodstuffs’ 100-year celebration.

The share was bought by a team of PAK’nSAVE owner-operators, including Glenn “Grocer” Cotterill, who bought the Lincoln Rd branch in Henderson from Street in 2013.

Cotterill, who already raced horses in special partnerships with Lincoln Farms, took a 25% share for $50,000 with the other 25% spread between 10 others.

Lincoln River is also raced by John and Lynne Street, David Turner, Phil Kelly, David Hooker, Barbara O’Mara, Dave Jones and Lin and Tina Guo.

My Copy rolling along in the lead in last Friday’s Pukekohe workout.My Copy rolling along in the lead in last Friday’s Pukekohe workout.Green is keen to see what My Copy can do in race seven, the Waikato Summer Cup.

“It’s a big step-up for him - it’s the best field he’s been in so far - so it will be interesting to see where he fits, but I think he’s a chance.

“He keeps improving all the time. It’s just hard to know how far he’ll go.”

Green was impressed by My Copy’s last-start placing at Cambridge behind Riverman Sam saying “if he hadn’t been bumped out four wide turning for home, he’d have won.”

Green doesn’t anticipate any problems with My Copy having his first race from a stand - the horse has begun well in both his two recent workouts behind the tape.

Last Friday he stepped quickly to lead and finished third behind the well performed Zarias and Soundsofcash, both serious rivals on Thursday, but giving him starts of 10 metres and 20 metres.

Our runners this week

Saturday night at Albion Park

Argyle.

Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 2: Frisco Bay
6.40pm

“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
6.40pm

“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
7.10pm

“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
7.10pm

“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.”

Race Images - Harness