The rain’s coming and that really muddies the water around Lincoln’s Gal on Thursday
With 18 ml of rain forecasted overnight, and the track already a slow 9, trainer Lisa Latta admits she doesn’t really know how Lincoln’s Gal will handle what will be very wet conditions at Awapuni on Thursday.
But the I Am Invincible mare still looks the best chance of Lincoln Farms’ five runners at the meeting, drawn well, in-form and with top jockey Sam Collett aboard.
Latta was delighted with the way Lincoln’s Gal performed at Hastings last Wednesday, in dead 4 ground, when she was on her best behaviour in the gates, jumped with the leaders, and was still in a three-way battle up front 200 metres from home.
In the end she couldn’t match the big late run of Tuscan Whistler but she showed real gameness to nose out Ace Royale for second.
“She’s third up and hard fit now but we just have to hope she can cope with what will be very wet and loose conditions on Thursday.
“How she performs will tell us if we should continue into the winter or send her out for a spell.’’
Lincoln’s Gal has placed twice on slow 8 and heavy 10 ground but that was as a two-year-old and Latta says while she did a nice piece of three-quarter work on wet ground this morning, it’s anyone’s guess how she will fare in a bog.
One horse Latta says has been working very well in wet ground is third race debutant Dependable Man.
Just a couple of months off his fifth birthday, the Reliable Man grey is finally making his debut after a rocky start in life when he first needed surgery for colic then 18 months ago had a wind operation.
While unplaced in two jumpouts and three trials, Dependable Man has shown some speed and, crucially, seems to revel in bad ground.
“It’s tough expecting him to perform at his first start but he worked well enough this morning to suggest he can run a cheeky race for Chris Johnson.
“He has appeared to handle wet tracks in all his work. But he is still carrying a bit of condition so will improve with the run.’’
Dependable Man cost $90,000 as a Karaka yearling with his third dam, Nicer, an Irish 1000 Guineas winner. It is the family of the useful gallopers Sultan Of Swing and Pinot Grigio (Avondale Guineas).
Both Johnny Lincoln (race 8) and Lincoln’s Command (race 2) handle it wet but not having raced for four months are expected to need the run.
Johnny Lincoln looked to have come up OK when second behind the talented Cover Drive at the Otaki trials last week.
But with a record of just one win from 30 starts, the Savabeel six-year-old is not the punters’ friend, having racked up eight seconds, five thirds and four fourths.
Lincoln’s Command, a four-start maiden, is looking for 2000 metres, says Latta, but might as well go round on his home track as a pipe-opener.
While Platinum Appeal (race 4) had an excuse at Otaki last time, when she simply failed to handle the puggy track, Latta says she is running out of time.
“She is at the stage where she needs to start showing us something.’’
But the Per Incanto filly has been working well, says Latta, and should get every chance on Thursday from a good draw, with Madan Singh claiming 2kg.
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Thursday at Wanganui
Race 7: Father Lenihan
“He strikes a strong field for a mid-week race but I have seen good improvement in his work in recent weeks. Robbie Hannam has been galloping him and has been very happy with his work. He will strike a better track (slow 8 today) and there is no rain forecast so it should improve further. I expect a much better run from him.”
Friday at Taupo
Race 5: Platinum Road
“He has come up with the outside draw of 13 but we really have to start him on a better track to get a line on where we are with him. We will ride him where he lands but he is obviously going to need luck in the running. His work has been good but his coat is still not quite there so he will improve with this run.”
Race 6: Princess Amelie
“She’s drawn very wide and if the ballots get a start it will take her out of play being out there as she has to go forward, she’s no good going back. There’s a race at Waverley in a couple of weeks that we might run in instead.”
Saturday at Hastings
Race 9: Lincoln Hills
“He has drawn a touch wide in 11 in a very good field. We are going to have to go back from that draw and ride him for luck. His work has been good but I do have a reservation about him on a good 3 track as I think he is better with the fire just out of the ground. It looks like there’s reasonable pace in the race, which may help our cause, and hopefully he can get a nice run through them.”