Vasari can run a hole but Hayden won’t beat Brendan, says dad of Saturday night’s race
Vasari won’t be winning at Albion Park on Saturday night but he’s drawn in the right place to place, says trainer Al Barnes.
The last-start Redcliffe winner has drawn the inside of the second row, at first glance a bad place for a horse who likes to roll.
But with pole runner Thatswhatisaid the leader and almost certain winner, Barnes is hoping Vasari can find enough early gate speed to hold his back or at least run three deep on the markers.
“Either way he should earn a cheque. If he trails all the way he can run a close second to Thatswhatisaid but he won’t beat him. He’s a very nice horse who hasn’t had much luck lately.”
Barnes knows the form of Jack Butler’s horse well, with his son Brendan the regular pilot.
With older son Hayden on Vasari, Barnes is hoping for a family affair at the wire but says his own horse is a real trick to drive.
“If Hayden fires him up, he won’t be able to stop him. You’ve got to keep him happy and not fight him.
“That makes it hard because I have to try to place him in races where we can do that. You can’t drive him aggressively at Albion Park because they don’t let you go and you have to kill him early if you shoot for the front.”
Barnes reports Vasari is feeling super after his Redcliffe win nine days ago when he went within three tenths of a second of the track record with his 1:55.2 mile rate for 1780 metres.
But Thatswhatisaid will be going a lot faster than that on Saturday night. A Menangle mile winner in 1:51.4, he couldn’t work clear last time but showed in his first two runs in the state that he would thrive with a win and second.
Vasari might be having his 84th start on Satrurday night but he continues to be a regular money spinner for Lincoln Farms and its partners Ian Middleton, Rod and Sue Fleming and Peter Jeffares.
He was the fourth highest money winner for Lincoln Farms in the season just ended with $34,759 in stakes, behind Make Way, Northview Hustler and Trojan Banner.
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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.”