What you need to know about plunge horse Lincoln Cove: Do you follow your money?

A trial at Pukekohe last Saturday explains why trainer Ray Green says his opinion is still “guarded” over plunge horse Lincoln Cove.

The Downbytheseaside debutant was surprisingly backed off the map on debut at Cambridge 12 days ago, his $21 opening price cut to $13 by scratchings, then hammered in to see him start a $2.20 favourite.

Things didn’t look good in the first lap when Lincoln Cove was forced to work three wide to the death, before landing a one-one sit.

But just when it seemed the horse would still deliver, driver Zachary Butcher easing out on the home turn, Lincoln Cove took fright when his deafeners were pulled, stumbled and galloped briefly.

And, worse, 50 metres later, just when he was again looking the likely winner, he copped a violent shunt, Butcher thrown forward in the cart, when a rival veered out sharply looking for a run, his driver later supended for three days.

Incredibly, Lincoln Cove still kept coming, attacking the line hard for second, beaten one and three-quarter lengths by Shez The One.

Bookies, who dodged a bullet, will be wary about letting anyone on at long odds this week but Green isn’t convinced the horse warrants such respect.

His caution was proven correct at the weekend trials when Lincoln Cove improved from the back to challenge leader Lincoln La Moose only to go into a wild gallop, taking so long to settle he was 14 lengths astern of his stablemate at the finish, albeit making up plenty of lost ground.

“He ranged up looking dangerous in the trial and for some inexplicable reason had a gallop,” Green said.

“I’d like to see him get round safely before I form an opinion of him as he certainly has a few tricks.

“Zac reckoned he would have gone straight on by at Cambridge had he not galloped but he didn’t look to lose much ground to me. And even though he got shunted a bit after that, again he didn’t lose too much momentum.

Lincoln La Moose … has taken time to strengthen. PHOTO: Trish Dunell.Lincoln La Moose … has taken time to strengthen. PHOTO: Trish Dunell.“While he would have the wood on Moose on ability, he could take a few runs to come right.”

Lincoln La Moose, who debuts after six workouts and five trials, three of them this prep, has taken time to strengthen, Green said.

“He’s a delicately built guy who took a little time to cope with the work.

“I think the ability is there and he looks to have strengthened a bit so he should go reasonably well from four on the gate.”

An Art Major colt out of Cullens Princess, Lincoln La Moose is a half-brother to six-race winner Miki Montana.

Our runners this week

Saturday night at Albion Park

Captain Nemo.

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Thursday night at Cambridge

Race 1: Major Achievement

“It’s his first race for a while and he hasn’t been setting the world on fire at the workouts. But he’s been racing better animals and this isn’t a stellar bunch. He’s a chance if things go his way. I’ve given Mathew Salaivao the drive.”

Race 1: Commander Lincoln

“He’s an average horse but the last time he raced here in amateur company he all but won. He’ll need luck from the second row but, while I couldn’t label him, he’s a runner’s chance.”

Race 5: Onyx Shard

“She got a bit sick for a while with a virus and I had to back off her. She seems over that now but I’m picking she’ll need a race. This will be like a glorified trial for her.”

Race 8: My Copy

“He came to the end of it so I gave him a little freshen-up and he seems in good shape again. It will be interesting to see how he goes fresh - he may need a race but he’ll appreciate the step-down in class. I’m running him here so he doesn’t come up against any bear cats first-up.”

Race 9: Lincoln Cove

“Hopefully he’s getting better but you’ve just got to take him on trust. He has ability but the desire has been sadly lacking. Zac will have to sit quietly on him as he broke when given only one tap with the stick last time. The small field will suit him as he won’t be too far off them. If he doesn’t make any mistakes, he’ll give them a fright.”

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 3: Leo Lincoln

“Maurice said he would have finished a lot closer last time than sixth (fourth or even third) had he not locked wheels at the 100. That took all his momentum away. He’s been holding his form well and he gets out well enough to use the inside draw. He’s a chance to get some of the money.”

Race 5: Sugar Ray Lincoln

“He did have marks on his boot after his last run and trying a spreader on him has helped. But he’s a real baby. He has real ability but he’s still developing mentally and physically and we’re still finding our way with him.”

Race 5: Lincoln Lou

“He’s racing well but he’ll find it tough from the outside draw.”

Race 6: Debbie Lincoln

“I can’t see her improving enough to give the Purdon/Phelan trio a fright. She can go (fast) enough but still has a lot to learn. The main thing for her is getting round safely. She’s put two in a row now so hopefully she’ll start improving.”

Race 10: Lincoln La Moose

“He had an excuse last time - he got wiped out on the first corner and that was the end of his race. I like him, he’s a nice horse, just not quite as experienced as Frisco Bay.”

Race 10: Frisco Bay

“I lean towards Frisky as the better chance of our two. You can’t fault what he did the other night at Cambridge, and he seems to be on the improve. He’s more reliable than Lincoln La Moose.”

Dan Costello Race Photography