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Watch the Hustler’s Redcliffe Cup run through Hayden’s eyes and see just how brave he was

Owners can’t share the sulky with their driver in a race but the next best thing is to see how their horse performed through the driver’s eyes.

And what better race to enjoy that vision than last Saturday night’s Redcliffe Gold Cup when in a thrilling finish Northview Hustler was pipped in the last stride.

In the video above, Lincoln Farms and its partners can watch Hayden Barnes’ every move on the Hustler, thanks to Racing Queensland and Panasonic Studio Productions which hooked him up with a camera.

In the description that follows Barnes takes us through the race from the moment the tapes released:

“My first plan was to get inside the No.1 horse. It was having its first standing start and in its trials it had stood flat-footed. I thought if I stepped fast enough I could get inside it, but it stood there, then jumped left and got in my way again.

“Once I got around it, Hustler went really quickly and we slotted into the running line.

Driver Hayden Barnes with his trainer dad Al.Driver Hayden Barnes with his trainer dad Al.“I was waiting for them to back off just enough so I could get going (around them) but they just kept running (at track record pace).

“I wanted to be the first horse three wide because last year in the same race I left it too late and they came out in front of me and got in my way.

“When I took off (three wide at the 900) on Saturday he cruised his way up there and was really travelling. And when I took over before the turn I thought he’d bolt in.

“I could feel him getting tired halfway down but when he saw the other horse (Sole Ambition) coming he pricked his ears and dug in even more.

“You don’t get to drive horses who try that hard too often but he just ran out of condition that last little bit and I could feel him pulling up.

“I hate getting beaten on the line like that and maybe I should have sat up for 50 metres before I let him go.

“But the really good thing is he’s still got a lot of improvement in him. His heart rate when we first took it after the race was 97 and after he was swabbed it only came down to 94 which shows how much fitness he still has to go.

“Quite a few people have said to me he’s come back a different horse this time and the way he’s racing you have to agree.

“I know his next race (the Wondai’s Mate on July 11) is only over a mile but, if he draws well, he’ll be in with a good shot.”

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 1: Tommy Lincoln
6.26pm

“They went fast last week and he was drilled down the back so he did well to hang on for second. He’s drawn to lead and will go another good race.”

Race 2: Apieceoflou
6.56pm

“If he gets a good trip, he’s the one to beat. Being hung out last week didn’t help but he still whacked away for second. He’s not as strong as he will be but he’s as honest as can be.”

Race 2: Franco Nandor
6.56pm

“He raced up like he was going to beat them last week but you have to forgive him as he hadn’t raced for a while.”

Race 4: Revitalise
7.56pm

“He was in a bit of strife for a couple of weeks but we’ve done a fair bit with his foot, we’ve swum him for the last week, and he’s training super. I’m very happy with him. He just needs some luck from the inside of the second row.”

Al Barnes

Al’s comments

Saturday night at Albion Park

Race 7: Northview Hustler
11.47pm NZ time

“We haven’t had him this sound for ages and he’s been sharp in training this week. His last three races have been really good and he’ll go forward and hopefully get the one-one behind Colt Thirty One. “They’ll know he’s alive if he’s on their backs.”

Race Images - Harness