On-pace runners dominate at Redcliffe, 36km north of Brisbane.

Tommy shipwrecked by terrible barrier draw at Redcliffe on Friday night

Any chance Tommy Lincoln had at Redcliffe on Friday night disappeared with the barrier draw.

Stranded at five on the second line over the 2280 metre sprint, trainer Mark Dux knows he has almost no chance of featuring in the A$31,000 Group III Patron’s Purse for four and five-year-olds.

“A draw like that kills you, especially at Redcliffe,” Dux said. “It’s a good field and he’s got a bad draw.

“I’ve got no option but to drive him cold. I’ll try to take short cuts, hope he can get splits and get the best cheque we can, but we won’t get much.”

Back-runners have virtually no chance on the tight, triangular Redcliffe track.Back-runners have virtually no chance on the tight, triangular Redcliffe track.Dux is wondering what he did to offend the racing gods - all four of his runners on Wednesday night drew terribly - and while he philosophically says “we have to play the cards we’re dealt” he knows Tommy has almost no show on the tight and turning circuit.

“Captain Crusader will lead from one and if there isn’t enough pressure he’ll run a 55 half. If you’re not in the first three or four in the running, you’re out of play.”

About his only chance, says Dux, is if the leaders go silly and walk home, but that rarely happens in Queensland.

The race-wrecking draw is all the more frustrating because Dux says he’s really happy with Tommy.

“I was happy with his last run and he’s done terrific since.”

Having his first standing start for 17 months, Tommy was a bit out of practice, galloping away.

“He just took a backward step when they said go. But I was pleased with him afterwards. He put in a funny step halfway round the bend - he was hanging a bit - but he felt strong all the way.”

Tommy battled away for fourth behind Captain Crusader at the finish of the 2647 metres, clocking very respectable closing sectionals of 54.8 and 26.99.

“He can go with the best of them but it’s so hard when you draw badly. It’s going to be hard finding the right race for him in the next month or so and I’ll be happy if he can race in the B divisions rather than against the best.”

Meanwhile, Dux is hoping to get a race for Captain Nemo next Tuesday after his event didn’t get off the ground last week.

“I was going to trial him last Tuesday but he was a bit off colour the day before so I didn’t run.”

Tommy Lincoln races at 9.45pm NZ time at Redcliffe on Friday night.Tommy Lincoln races at 9.45pm NZ time at Redcliffe on Friday night.

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Thursday night at Cambridge

Race 2: Next To Me

“He’s starting to put it together and looks a serious chance. He’s gone some nice races. He was entitled to run last there one night (when badly checked) and finished fourth so he’s tough enough. He should get every chance from the draw.”

Race 2: Whiz On Bye

“I don’t think there’s much between him and Next To Me. He’s pacing much better now and he was quite good in the last of his three workouts. I hope they can both run in the money.

Race 3: Riverboy Ben

“The second row draw is awkward for him over only 1700 metres - obviously he’ll get back. I think he’s a horse who will need a trip and he’s not likely to get one from there. He’ll need to be lucky.”

Race 7: Riverman Sam

“I think he’s the best horse in the race and I don’t see why he can’t do it again. The 2200 metres won’t worry him. He’s no slug, he’s got speed. I got him home in 27.2 when he won over 2700 metres.”

Mark Dux

Mark Dux’s comments

Friday at Albion Park

Race 6: Captain Nemo
6.07pm NZ time

“It’s a pretty strong field - every bit as good as last week, maybe stronger - and while he’s starting to get back to where he was, he’s not quite there yet. We’ll come out steady on, get into the running line, and play it by ear.”

Saturday night at Albion Park

Race 1: Tommy Lincoln
7.15pm NZ time

“He’s first emergency so I’ll give him a week off to freshen up and then start again. I don’t know whether he just had an off night last week or if the 26.6 first quarter played into it. That other horse was in our face the rest of the way too.”

Race Images - Harness