We love seeing the Hustler smoking along in front - they’ll have to be good to run him down
Drawn to lead and with only five rivals, Northview Hustler will get his chance to score again at Albion Park on Saturday night, says trainer Al Barnes.
The last time Northview Hustler led, four starts back, he won, clocking a mile rate of 1:52.5 for the 1660 metres, only four tenths of a section slower than last week’s brilliant winner Turn It Up.
At a casual glance the Hustler might not have looked so good in that race last Saturday but his performance belied the sixth placing.
“His sectionals were brilliant,” says Barnes. “And he was running them wide on the track.”
Forced to go back from a wide draw, the Hustler was still last, and three wide, at the 400, but he sizzled home in 53.89 and 26.89, the closing section bettered only by runner-up Imasportsstar (26.61) who enjoyed a pegs run until the turn.
“It was a great run because he was a little big and we thought he’d run out of puff.
“He looks a ready made leader from two on Saturday as the one horse (Subtle Delight) will take a sit.”
Northview Hustler will also be suited more by the extra trip, stepping up to 2138 metres.
“Both Major Cam and Lets Katchmeifucan will be hard to beat, with Major Cam the hardest. But he’ll have to run a good half to catch us. We know what we can run in front.”
Earlier, in the second race, Larry Lincoln also lands a better draw than last week when he could manage only fourth from two on the second row.
Drawing four on Saturday will allow the horse to be driven a little more quietly, says Barnes.
“He just had no luck in the running last week and Hayden had to go too far from home. But he can’t sprint from the 800, he needs to pull out at the 400.”
The long, explosive burst from the back took its toll, with Larry Lincoln’s run coming to an end 200 metres from home, seeing him 8.9 metres from the winner in fourth in a fast 1:53.6 mile rate.
“He’ll go forward on Saturday and find a position and then we can drive him more quietly. The 2138 metre trip isn’t ideal but he’s up to them and he’ll be OK driven colder.”
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Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them
Tuesday at Albion Park
Race 7: Bondi Shake
7.03pm NZ time
“He’s going really well and hasn’t had much luck. This looks a good race for him, it’s not overly strong. I rate him a top two chance. It’s just a matter of whether he can wind up fast enough from behind the leader.”
Friday night at Auckland
Race 2: Captain Nemo
“He’s not quite up to the best in there but he’s honest enough. He’ll go round and get a cheque.”
Race 2: American Dealer
“He’ll go a good race but it will improve him a lot. David was really happy with him at the workouts and didn’t press him too hard. While he’ll be better for the run it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if he won.”
Race 4: Smokinhotcheddar
“I thought her run for fifth last time was super. I’ve taken her off the unruly and she’s drawn one. If she doesn’t stuff the start, she’ll be right in it.”
Race 7: Tartan Robyn
“His first run for us was a beaut. He had a bad trip, parked most of the way, and still ran on. If he led, he’d be hard to beat.”
Race 8: Copy That
“He was deadly at the trials and Maurice said he couldn’t get over how easily he did it. It’s hard to imagine them beating him fair and square. He’d have to be exceedingly unlucky or do something stupid.”
Race 9: Argyle
“He needs the experience and a run under his belt before the Young Guns Final. I expect David will go back from seven and come into it late. I’m not holding my breath that he can win.”
Saturday night at Albion Park
Race 5: Larry Lincoln
10.47pm NZ time
“Larry deserves to be favourite and he’s got enough respect to lead and win. There are some capable horses in the race but over a mile Larry will be very hard to beat from in front.”
Race 10: Bondi Shake
1.20am NZ time
“He’s very bright after his win on Tuesday and will run a cheeky race. This is stronger but he’s up to them. Dance In The Sun looks the winner but I’m very confident he can run top three because he chases really well.”