Two recent workout wins show Whiz On Bye much better than his inglorious debut
Whiz On Bye hardly knew where to put his feet on debut at Alexandra Park last month, beating only a couple home and finishing 25 lengths from the winner.
But Lincoln Farms’ trainer Ray Green reckons it’s best to simply put the line through that run when assessing his chances at Cambridge on Christmas Eve.
“He’s a work in progress but from his good barrier draw (three) he looks the best of our four chances,” says Green.
“He’s a typical American Ideal - they take a few starts to find their feet - and he’s getting better and better.”
Green says the two-year-old colt has been training and trialling much better since his inglorious debut, when he worked hard to find the death seat then paced very roughly at various intervals, losing contact with the pack.
Whiz On Bye has won both his workouts in the interim, posting a useful mile rate of 2:03 in the latest on December 11 when he led throughout for Andrew Drake to beat Tuscon Tiger and American Legacy.
“He’s a chance if he races up to that form,” Green said.
Whiz On Bye, who will be driven by Zachary Butcher on Friday, has the bloodlines to eventually make an impact being out of the family of dual New Zealand Cup winner Il Vicolo.
His dam Vivacious Madonna is a half sister to Stunin Cullen (19 wins), Coburg (10 wins) and Temepara Cullen (5 wins).
Green is looking for an improved showing from Nirvana Franco (race two) whom he admits has been disappointing.
Ruunner-up on debut at Cambridge in August she has hasn’t had the best of luck in three subsequent starts.
“But she still hasn’t lived up to her earlier promise. She hasn’t shown us yet what she feels like in training.”
Nirvana Franco got herself into a hopeless position early last start at Auckland after pacing roughly and breaking briefly on the first bend.
She was doing her best work late for fifth, pacing the fastest last quarter in the race, albeit only 31.3.
The opposition is easier on Friday but she will still need luck from six on the gate.
Bet On The Tiger has fared even worse in the barrier draw for race six, on the outside of the front line.
“It won’t be easy from out there but he’s been training and trialling very well left-handed.
“He’ll go an honest race.”
From five, Green is hoping Louie The Punter can cross and make the front in the 11th race.
“If he made the front he’d be a chance. He tends to pull a bit hard when he doesn’t and he’s not a nice horse to drive when he’s parked.
“He’ll need a bit of luck against Cran Dalgety’s two-year-old Casino Action.”
More news in Harness
Better draw will help Frisco but Ray’s quartet for Friday all in early stages of new prep
Argyle salutes at last and Mark confident he’ll keep the till ticking over in the next grade
Unlucky Argyle deserves to be rewarded at Albion Park tonight - just no bad luck please
Ray looking forward to Lincoln Lou and fully oxygenated Frisco Bay at Cambridge on Friday
Our runners this week
Saturday night at Albion Park
Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them
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.”