Vasari and driver Hayden Barnes enjoying a moment in the sun before training at Al Barnes’ Marburg stable.

Wakey, wakey Vasari! The hood’s back on and he should be in business on Friday night

Vasari, hood reattached, will be much sharper for his second run in Queensland on Friday night.

And, drawn three in the opening race at 8.23pm NZ time, trainer Al Barnes is hoping he can cross to the lead and be hard to run down.

Vasari didn’t wear a hood in his first race since transferring north from Sydney last week but while it had the desired effect of quietening him down, it left him completely disinterested.

“We noticed he was pulling quite hard in Sydney and thought he’d go better if we could get him more settled,’’ says Barnes.

“But without the hood he didn’t want to go at all, he’s very lazy.’’

Vasari, pulled back from his extreme outside draw, consequently lost interest and was being tapped up by driver Hayden Barnes to even stay within three lengths of the second last horse a round from home.

Vasari actually paced 57.66 for his last 800 metres, the fastest in the race and on the entire day, making up 23.5 metres on the leaders, but he still finished only seventh, 13 metres from the winner.

“It’s trial and error with him but the hood will sharpen him up again and hopefully he can lead and run a race.’’

Vasari, winner of 12 races, has always been at his best in front, or on the speed, when he is hard to get past.

And Barnes says the way the horse has felt in work this week, when he has been particularly bright, augurs well for Friday.

Vasari made up a huge amount of ground last week in the fastest last 800 metres of the day.Vasari made up a huge amount of ground last week in the fastest last 800 metres of the day.

Girl on the second row

Lincoln’s Girl, who found the lead in her winning run last Friday, won’t be doing that this week drawn three on the second row in the second race at 8.53pm NZ time.

But Barnes says that’s a good thing.

“We don’t want to keep sending her forward all the time. We want to keep her settled and educate her.

Lincoln’s Girl is too good for her rivals at Albion Park last week, leading most of the way over 1660 metres.Lincoln’s Girl is too good for her rivals at Albion Park last week, leading most of the way over 1660 metres.“Her goal is the Queensland Oaks (on July 13) when her best chance will be to come with one run.’’

Barnes says Friday’s race will be a good test for Lincoln’s Girl, her first at 2138 metres.

“She settled well out of the gate last week before Hayden rolled forward so hopefully she’ll do so again.’’

Barnes says since he fitted a more severe bit on Lincoln’s Girl, the filly has been a lot quieter in her trackwork and much more controllable in her races.

“It’s an even field with no real standouts but I think she’ll start reasonably short anyway.

“She’s super, I can’t fault her.’’

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.”

Dan Costello Race Photography