Whale watching trip to Kaikoura planned for consistent Simply Sam - and then it’s cup day
Simply Sam only has to maintain his excellent form at Auckland on Thursday night to earn a flight south next week.
Lincoln Farms’ consistent four-year-old will be one of the favourites for the fifth race, despite his 20 metre handicap, and trainer Ray Green is expecting another top effort.
“He’s probably the best horse in the race - he was best of the rest behind Old Town Road last start - and I can’t see why he can’t win.
“We’re looking at taking him down for the Kaikoura Cup and then he’ll race on cup day,” Green said.
Green believes Simply Sam will be well suited to the Group II $60,000 Alabar Kaikoura Cup (2400m) on Monday, October 30, where on-pace runners often excel on the flat turning track.
“He’s such a good pacer, he steps well and he’s nice and tractible and reliable.”
With stable star Copy That sidelined, Green is hoping Simply Sam can force his way into the $750,000 IRT New Zealand Trotting Cup at Addington on November 14.
But sitting at 22nd in the entry order for the 15-horse field, Green knows it’s more likely he’ll be in the Group III $40,000 Junior free-for-all (mobile 2600m) the same day.
Green believes Simply Sam can advance a little up the rankings with a win on Thursday night.
“It’s never easy at this level, and the 20 metres might inconvenience him, but he’s such a good beginner he could end up getting a good trip. And with a soft trip he’s always a contender.
“He’s not one who can rough it but the fact he steps so well means he wont use too much energy early.”
Lincoln Farms launches a three-pronged attack on the seventh race with Frankie Major favoured over My Copy and Lincoln River.
“Frankie’s in the zone at the moment. His form in his last three or four starts is very good.
“Providing he doesn’t have to burn the candle at both ends and can get a suck along, he has the speed to get over the top of them.”
Frankie Major showed his crushing Cambridge win was no fluke when he beat all except the progressive Jolimont at Auckland last start, the form franked when Arna Donnelly’s pacer went on to split Don’t Stop Dreaming and Merlin in last week’s Group I Flying Stakes at Addington.
Green kept Frankie Major’s engine turning over at last Friday’s Pukekohe workouts, when he dashed late for fourth and would surely have overhauled his rivals if asked by driver Nathan Delany.
With Zachary Butcher opting for Frankie Major, Delany gets Lincoln River on Thursday, and will need luck from an inside second row draw.
Green doesn’t mind that alley, saying he is sick of seeing the horse getting parked out.
“He should get a reasonable trip from there. He’s a nice little horse, a real scrapper, and he just needs to find a bit of speed to handle the very good ones.”
Green’s own My Copy has the best draw of the trio in three, from where Green hopes driver Maurice McKendry can give him another sweet trip.
“He’s up in grade but if he gets a really good trip I can’t see why he couldn’t be quite dangerous, they all could be.”
My Copy gained a well deserved win last start when nosing out Two Eye See at Auckland and clocking a respectable 2:42.7 for the 2200 metres, benefitting from an inch perfect McKendry drive.
Newcomer Conquer Clare hinted she won’t be long finding the winner’s circle when a close and unlucky fifth fresh-up at Cambridge.
“It was a surprise to see her go so well first-up,” Green said.
“She might have run third too had she not been chopped off in the straight.
“She seems to have trained on well and looks good on paper on Thursday. I’m hoping she can get some of the money.”
Green doesn’t like the chances of Riverboy Ben from a wide alley in the same race after he had every chance in the amateur race at Cambridge and could manage only sixth.
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Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them
Friday night at Cambridge
Race 3: Lincoln Lou
“He’s a beautiful little horse and I’m looking forward to seeing him run. It’s hard to know how good he is, or how far he’ll go, but I guess we’ll find out on Friday. He’s the one to beat from the draw. If he doesn’t win, he won’t be far away.”
Race 5: Commander Lincoln
“I won’t be holding my breath. He tries hard enough but he lacks a bit of high speed.”
Race 8: Onyx Shard
“It’s two and a half months since she last raced, and she didn’t grow as much as I thought she would, but I’m expecting her to go a good race. Her last two trials have been good and she’s pulled up well.”
Race 8: Obadiah Dragon
“He’ll need a good trip from five but he’s not out of it. He went a good race last time at Cambridge and would be as equal a chance as Onxy Shard.”
Race 8: Beaudiene Rocknroll
“It’s heart-in-the-mouth stuff with him until they let them go but he should step away this time. Zac (Butcher) said the gate went particularly slowly before that race and that’s why he got impatient. I thought he did well to recover for third. If he made the front, where he goes best, he’d be hard to beat.”
Race 9: Frisco Bay
“He’s a tidy horse and I’m expecting a big run. We’ve sorted the problem he had with his breathing last season and he’s right in the zone now after a second and a win at the workouts.”
Mark Dux’s comments
Saturday night at Albion Park
Race 5: Argyle
11.02pm NZ time
“It wouldn’t have mattered where he drew this week, he’s in the money, barring bad luck. He’s going terrific and he gets in so well at the ratings.”