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: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 4: Copy That

“He’s certainly got some speed. The race was all over by the time he got going last week and James never pulled the plugs. Clearly he’s the best horse in the field on ability. But there are no guarantees he’ll behave.’’

Race 4: Tommy Lincoln

“He’s trialling well but I won’t be expecting too much from gate six. He was a big, gangly, weak thing but he’s strengthened up a lot this time in.”

Race 4: Billy Lincoln

“It’s his first race, and first time away from Pukekohe and he’s drawn the inside of the second row so logic tells you he has a few things against him. Until six weeks ago he was extremely average but he’s progressively got better and better.”

Race 8: Governor’s Bay

“He had a tough trip last time so it wasn’t surprising he weakened. He’s training well and this field looks a lot easier.”

Al Barnes

Al’s comments

Friday at Albion Park

Race 1: Lincoln’s Girl
2.42pm NZ time

“It’s not a bad field but she’s as good as anything else in there and looks a top two chance with a little luck from the second row. She went super last time - I didn’t know how brave she’d be when I saw her caught in the chair but Hayden was very happy with how she went.”

Race 9: Vasari
7.22pm NZ time

“He should get out a lot better this week with Hayden back driving and we’ll be trying to cross the pole marker. The horse is really well and he’ll win one soon. It’s a good line-up but he should run top three.’’

Anthony Butt

Ants’ comments

Saturday night at Menangle

Race 7: Lets Strike The Gold
10.22pm NZ time

“This is a difficlut race for him to win and I’ll be driving him quietly from that barrier. It’s been nearly nine months since he raced and he’s going to need a couple of runs to get his race fitness.”

Race Images - Harness