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Argyle, top, is pipped by the late swooper Shell Shock last week.

Unlucky Argyle deserves to be rewarded at Albion Park tonight - just no bad luck please

Argyle is racing so well not even an inside second row draw should keep him out of the finish at Albion Park on Saturday night, says trainer Mark Dux.

“It wouldn’t have mattered where he drew this week, he’s in the money, barring bad luck. He’s going terrific and he gets in so well at the ratings.”

Argyle is the top rater in the 1660 metre sprint on R75, only Mister Reactor (R74) close to him, with the next highest rated horse Rocknpenny on R63.

And it’s not as if Argyle has slipped in the pecking order. While his fromline of 82602 isn’t that inspiring, Dux says it would be hard to point to any recent race where he has not performed well.

“We’re going as well as anything in the race and I’m very happy with him.”

Unlucky not to have won last week, when pipped half a neck, Argyle was just held up a little waiting for the sprint lane, which allowed his main danger, fellow Woodlands Stud graduate Shell Shock, to cash in on his momentum out wide.

“We took a while to wind up and he also wanted to get up the track a bit which didn’t help.”

Argyle lost his advantage of the pole soon after the start when, after making a swift start, he was outsped to the first turn by Alta Equus, ending up in the trail.

Instead of being able to roll along at a good clip, Argyle then was at the mercy of the leader’s tempo, the sedate last half of 56.7 leaving him susceptible to a swooper like Shell Shock.

“From the trail you’re dictated to by how strong the leader gets you to the corner.”

Dux says the form for Saturday was franked when Alta Equus, third last week, won at Albion Park last night.

While Argyle follows out a good beginner in Mighty George tonight, Dux sees Bonnies Cam, in two, crossing him.

“If the two wants to lead it will. That would put us three fence and it then would come down to what the others out wide want to do. Leithen Burn might try to cross from five.

“Three back I’m happy. Even four back doesn’t put him out of the race by any stretch. We just don’t want any bad luck.”

Top young gun driver Angus Garrard, away driving in Sydney last week, is back on board tonight.

Argyle races at 11.02pm NZ time at Albion Park on Saturday night.Argyle races at 11.02pm NZ time at Albion Park on Saturday night.

Our runners this week

Saturday night at Albion Park

Captain Nemo.

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Thursday night at Cambridge

Race 1: Major Achievement
5.19pm

“It’s his first race for a while and he hasn’t been setting the world on fire at the workouts. But he’s been racing better animals and this isn’t a stellar bunch. He’s a chance if things go his way. I’ve given Mathew Salaivao the drive.”

Race 1: Commander Lincoln
5.19pm

“He’s an average horse but the last time he raced here in amateur company he all but won. He’ll need luck from the second row but, while I couldn’t label him, he’s a runner’s chance.”

Race 5: Onyx Shard
6.59pm

“She got a bit sick for a while with a virus and I had to back off her. She seems over that now but I’m picking she’ll need a race. This will be like a glorified trial for her.”

Race 8: My Copy
8.14pm

“He came to the end of it so I gave him a little freshen-up and he seems in good shape again. It will be interesting to see how he goes fresh - he may need a race but he’ll appreciate the step-down in class. I’m running him here so he doesn’t come up against any bear cats first-up.”

Race 9: Lincoln Cove
8.47pm

“Hopefully he’s getting better but you’ve just got to take him on trust. He has ability but the desire has been sadly lacking. Zac will have to sit quietly on him as he broke when given only one tap with the stick last time. The small field will suit him as he won’t be too far off them. If he doesn’t make any mistakes, he’ll give them a fright.”

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 3: Leo Lincoln
6.43pm

“Maurice said he would have finished a lot closer last time than sixth (fourth or even third) had he not locked wheels at the 100. That took all his momentum away. He’s been holding his form well and he gets out well enough to use the inside draw. He’s a chance to get some of the money.”

Race 5: Sugar Ray Lincoln
7.39pm

“He did have marks on his boot after his last run and trying a spreader on him has helped. But he’s a real baby. He has real ability but he’s still developing mentally and physically and we’re still finding our way with him.”

Race 5: Lincoln Lou
7.39pm

“He’s racing well but he’ll find it tough from the outside draw.”

Race 6: Debbie Lincoln
8.07pm

“I can’t see her improving enough to give the Purdon/Phelan trio a fright. She can go (fast) enough but still has a lot to learn. The main thing for her is getting round safely. She’s put two in a row now so hopefully she’ll start improving.”

Race 10: Lincoln La Moose
9.59pm

“He had an excuse last time - he got wiped out on the first corner and that was the end of his race. I like him, he’s a nice horse, just not quite as experienced as Frisco Bay.”

Race 10: Frisco Bay
9.59pm

“I lean towards Frisky as the better chance of our two. You can’t fault what he did the other night at Cambridge, and he seems to be on the improve. He’s more reliable than Lincoln La Moose.”

Dan Costello Race Photography