Vasari leaves Queensland in peak form and is expected to thrive over strong miles in New York. PHOTO: Michael McInally.

Vasari and Lincoln’s Girl join exodus to the States - mission accomplished

Vasari and Lincoln’s Girl will be joining Trojan Banner on a flight to the United States next week after their sale was confirmed today.

The trio have all been racing in fine form in Queensland but with the going set to get a lot tougher for Vasari and Lincoln’s Girl, the timing is right to move them on, says Lincoln Farms’ business manager Ian Middleton.

“I’ve got a 10 percent share in Vasari myself and would have been happy to keep racing him as he’s a good old bugger who tries hard.

“But that’s from the heart not the head. Another win and he’ll struggle and he’d be worth nothing as an out-of-form six-year-old.”

Vasari won 11 races in Australia. PHOTO: Ashlea Brennan.Vasari won 11 races in Australia. PHOTO: Ashlea Brennan.Vasari, who was raced by Middleton, John and Lynne Street and their close friends Rod and Sue Fleming and Peter Jeffares, won 16 races in all, 11 in Australia, his 86 starts netting $150,000 in stakes.

“They got very attached to the horse, and that’s good. They had a lot of fun with him but it wouldn’t be a smart move to keep him.”

The deal, brokered by leading Auckland bloodstock agent John Curtin, sees Vasari heading for Saratoga in New York where he will be trained by Paul Zabielski for owner Kevin Quinn.

The stable has had plenty of recent luck with other New Zealand exports including The Great Buzz, who has won five of his six starts, Kiwi Tintin and Nerve Of Steel. Also heading to the same quarters is last-start Auckland winner Sea Change.

“Ray Green thought Vasari was one of the best young horses he has had and he’ll do well up there,” says Curtin.

Ideal for Amercan racing

Marburg trainer Al Barnes, who has won four races with Vasari since taking him over in May, believes he is the ideal horse for American racing.

“I’d love to be taking him over myself, he’s the perfect horse for Yonkers. No one wants to be first to go there but he’d love it. He can go at the bell and he’ll keep fighting, he’ll run you 28 quarters all day.”

Vasari proved that in May when he scored by 17.5 metres in a mile rating of 1:52 for the 1660 metres at Albion Park.

Lincoln’s Girl was going nowhere in New Zealand but thrived in Queensland under Al Barnes. PHOTO: Royden Williams.Lincoln’s Girl was going nowhere in New Zealand but thrived in Queensland under Al Barnes. PHOTO: Royden Williams.Lincoln’s Girl, who was raced by the Streets, won five races in four months with Barnes, taking a mile rating mark of 1:53.3.

She leaves with a career record of seven wins from 24 starts and $42,851 in stakes.

Former trainer Ray Green says American mile racing, where they go hard early, will really suit the filly.

“She was a filly with a lot of ability but I wouldn’t call her a racehorse. She was a bit hot and beat herself up too much.

“She’s on her mark in Brisbane now.”

Barnes says while it’s sad to be losing three of the four horses he trains for Lincoln Farms - only Northview Hustler is left - he says they’ve done a good job winning 16 races for him and it’s right to sell them while they are in form.

“It’s good business for Lincoln Farms and I’m happy that I’ve been able to help. We’ll just have to get some new stock and start again.”

Middleton says Lincoln Farms is already assessing potential new recruits for Barnes who may even fly over to test drive a few himself.

Green says their Queensland marketing exercise with Northview Hustler, Trojan Banner, Vasari and Lincoln’s Girl had fulfilled all their hopes.

Trojan Banner’s part-owner Margaret Rabbitt and Ian Middleton celebrate in the winners’ circle at Alexandra Park.Trojan Banner’s part-owner Margaret Rabbitt and Ian Middleton celebrate in the winners’ circle at Alexandra Park.“We’ve proved to ourselves it’s a viable way to operate. It makes absolute sense and helps keep our operation going.

“Those horses were going nowhere here so it’s been a very successful ploy for Lincoln Farms.

“Our owners in Trojan Banner, in particular, had a lot of fun and made plenty of money. We sold him for more than twice what we would have got for him here.

“The other two would only have been paying their way from now on, nothing more. And we’ve got plenty to replace them.”

Handicapping system inferior

Green says what’s transpired with the trio has also again shown how inferior the handicapping system is in New Zealand.

“They must modify the system and try to encourage people to keep their horses here.”

There was no advantage in racing two-year-olds, who no longer revert to maidens when they turn three. And the win-one-get-one-free three-year-old concession was also gone.

“The continual exporting of horses is just compounding the problem.

“But you can’t blame people for selling. Because of the lack of numbers you win a couple of races and all of a sudden you have cup horses snapping at your heels.”

Our runners this week

Saturday night at Albion Park


Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

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.”

Race Images - Harness