Unlucky Double Or Nothing gets a draw to be on the speed and hard to beat on Tuesday
Double Or Nothing should finish top two at Albion Park on Tuesday but he’ll still need to race up to his best against a field of older and seasoned pacers.
Drawn two in a field of seven, trainer Al Barnes expects to see his son Hayden either lead or trail on Lincoln Farms’ consistent three-year-old.
And that would put him in a winning position and eliminate the bad luck which saw him finish only fourth last start.
Double Or Nothing was caught three wide on a blistering opening quarter of 26.9 on January 17 but eventually lobbed a beautiful one-one trial.
But when Hayden wanted to pull the trigger on Double Or Nothing he was hemmed up in traffic, held up all the way round the home bend and well into the home stretch before being able to angle into the clear.
Double Or Nothing finished on strongly to be only 4.5 metres from winner Flying Wingard, almost in line with the second and third horses.
“But he didn’t ping like we thought he would,” says Barnes. “That’s why Hayden stayed in because we thought he had a more brilliant turn of foot. We’re still learning about him but it seems that while he has good speed he needs time to wind up.
“Hayden might want to lead on Tuesday and I’d say he’ll be either there or in the trail and from there he should go close, and finish in the top two.
“But he’ll have to do a good job because it’s a reasonably strong race and there are plenty of seasoned, older horses against him and the one horse (Rocknroll Classic) goes nicely.”
Barnes says Double Or Nothing will find it a little harder than former stablemate Trojan Banner did on his arrival in Brisbane last year.
That’s because the new national ratings system had not yet begun and Trojan Banner was so lowly assessed despite his record he was able to win seven on end.
“He’s probably rated a bit higher than he should be but we’ll see if he can handle it. He should do.”
Double Or Nothing made an instant impression first-up in Brisbane when he looped the field and ran away to score in a 1:55.4 mile rate.
The winner’s time last start was 1.1 seconds slower and they only crawled home in 59.2 and 30.2.
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At last, Argyle gets the pole on Saturday night and Mark reckons it’s his big chance to salute
Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them
Friday night at Cambridge
Race 3: Lincoln Lou
“He’s a beautiful little horse and I’m looking forward to seeing him run. It’s hard to know how good he is, or how far he’ll go, but I guess we’ll find out on Friday. He’s the one to beat from the draw. If he doesn’t win, he won’t be far away.”
Race 5: Commander Lincoln
“I won’t be holding my breath. He tries hard enough but he lacks a bit of high speed.”
Race 8: Onyx Shard
“It’s two and a half months since she last raced, and she didn’t grow as much as I thought she would, but I’m expecting her to go a good race. Her last two trials have been good and she’s pulled up well.”
Race 8: Obadiah Dragon
“He’ll need a good trip from five but he’s not out of it. He went a good race last time at Cambridge and would be as equal a chance as Onxy Shard.”
Race 8: Beaudiene Rocknroll
“It’s heart-in-the-mouth stuff with him until they let them go but he should step away this time. Zac (Butcher) said the gate went particularly slowly before that race and that’s why he got impatient. I thought he did well to recover for third. If he made the front, where he goes best, he’d be hard to beat.”
Race 9: Frisco Bay
“He’s a tidy horse and I’m expecting a big run. We’ve sorted the problem he had with his breathing last season and he’s right in the zone now after a second and a win at the workouts.”
Mark Dux’s comments
Saturday night at Albion Park
Race 5: Argyle
11.02pm NZ time
“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.”