The Big Lebowski distances his rivals at Alexandra Park tonight. PHOTO: Megan Liefting/Race Images.

‘Welcome to Auckland The Big Lebowski’ cries commentator as the hulk romps home by 11

Last month a rating 48 to 61 sprint at Invercargill, next week the $180,000 Auckland Cup over 3200 metres. That’s the remarkable transition which The Big Lebowski looks like making after his 11-length demolition at Alexandra Park tonight.

In one of the most comprehensive wins seen at Auckland headquarters in years, the hulking pacer completely destroyed his rivals, his 2:38.4 clocking for the mobile 2200 metres more impressive than Kango’s 2:44.2, registered in beating several Auckland Cup favourites from a stand in the Roy Purdon Memorial.

“Welcome to Auckland The Big Lebowski” commentator Aaron White declared as the six-year-old extended his winning margin at every stride of the run home.

The performance left Lincoln Farms’ trainer Ray Green “more than pleasantly surprised”.

“I knew he’d be hard to beat but I didn’t think he’d do a demolition job on them. Based on tonight I’d say he’s a chance of getting some of the money in next week’s cup.”

Green spoke to ecstatic Melbourne owner Merv Butterworth after the race but said he’d yet to quiz him on whether he wants the newcomer to join his champion Copy That behind the tapes for next week’s big feature.

“No doubt we’ll talk about the cup tomorrow. But my feeling is when they’re on their game you’ve got to chase the money.

“It will only be a small field and, while a standing start 3200m is different from a 2200m, even if he ran third, the $16,200 is a better stake than he’d get winning one of these other races.

Ray Green … “I didn’t do anything. I’m just lucky to have him.”Ray Green … “I didn’t do anything. I’m just lucky to have him.”Top reinsman Blair Orange, who had never driven The Big Lebowski before, said he seemed to have a good motor, suited to a tough two-miles.

“I’m surprised he hasn’t won more races down south,” said Green of the horse who had scored just five times and never ventured out of Southland.

Rated only R66 before tonight’s win - Copy That is R120 - the Big Lebowski has never been tried past 2400 metres in his 29 starts.

“He’s come from a small stable with Robin Swain on a little track at Gore to a completely different environment and has obviously warmed to our routine.

“When he first arrived three weeks ago he was a bit insecure, a bit of a worrier, but he’s really warmed to his new surroundings. We just put him into our normal routine and he seems to have thrived on it.

“I didn’t do anything. I’m just lucky to have him.”

Green put the horse’s hollow victory partly down to the scorched earth tactics adopted by Nicholas Cage, Supa Dupa Luca and Chimichurri who were the first three in the running but the last three to finish.

“They burned early and cut each others’ throats.”

Orange, on the other hand, took his time at the back of the field before moving round three wide to park at the bell.

Nicholas Cage was on empty at the 600 when Orange and The Big Lebowksi forged to the front and, after running 28.2 down the back straight, he opened up in the run home with a 28.6 to clock an overall mile rate of 1:55.8.

Kango, comparatively, zipped home in 55.9 and 26.8 for a mile rate of 2:00, to beat Self Assured by half a head with a neck to Canterbury visitor Heza Sport.

Self Assured maintained his position at the head of the futures market with Copy That at $2.60 with Akuta, scratched tonight, next on $3.80.

Old Town Road eased to a $5.50 fourth favourite after only battling into fifth.

Though he lost valuable ground by galloping away, he was well enough spotted in the one-one at the bell.

The Big Lebowksi was installed sixth favourite at $18.

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 1: Obadiah Dragon

“He’s the lowest rated in the field, so it will be tough for him, but he’s racing really well. He just doesn’t need any bad luck.”

Race 4: Lincoln La Moose

“You won’t see the best of him on Friday. It’s his first race since April and he’ll definitely need the run.”

Race 6: My Copy

“He’s no champion but he’s very honest and is always capable of finishing in the money. He only needs a fair crack at them.”

Race 7: Tyson

“You can forget about that debut run, it was a non-event for him the way the race panned out. He got way too far back and would need to have clocked ridiculous times to get into it. He has speed and feels like a nice horse but he’s very inexperienced. I wouldn’t expect him to round the others up but he won’t be disgraced.”

Race 7: Lincoln Lou

Update: Scratched on vet’s advice

“He’s a very nice colt. He’s a lot stronger this time in and he could develop into a serious horse. If he repeats his last run, he’ll be hard to beat. I think he might have the wood on Sugar Ray. He has better manners and probably a bit more speed too.”

Race 7: Sugar Ray Lincoln

“He won comfortably last time despite being three wide for much of the last lap and four wide turning for home. He’s a very good colt. There’s not much between him and Lincoln Lou.”

Race 9: Commander Lincoln

“He’s as honest as they come, he’d die for you, but he lacks a yard of sharp speed to be a serious horse. He has a draw upgrade and drops in class but things have to pan out for him.”

Mark Dux

Mark Dux’s comments

Friday night at Albion Park

Race 8: Captain Nemo
6.33pm NZ time

“It’s not an easy race and, from an average draw, we’ll drive him quietly again so he’ll be at the mercy of the tempo. If he gets the right trip, I could see him hitting the line well and sneaking into the money but after this run to tighten him up he’ll be all set to go, close to winning.”

Les Harding

Les Harding

Saturday night at Port Pirie

Race 5: Beaudiene Rocknroll
10.02pm NZ time

“I’m very happy with him and confident he’ll run a top race but it’s hard to predict how he’ll measure up given this is a big step-up in class compared with the horses he has raced against for his last two wins.”

Whales Harness