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Whoosh! Trojan Banner scorches past trial rivals like a ready-made winner

Trojan Banner will make his Queensland debut on Tuesday week after thrilling his new trainer and driver in Friday’s trial at Albion Park.

Lincoln Farms’ three-year-old came from the tail of the field in the home straight and roared past his rivals, showing trainer Al Barnes even more speed than he thought he had.

“I didn’t think he could sprint that sharply,’’ said Barnes after Trojan Banner clocked a 1:57 mile rate in winning the 1660 metre trial by 2.3 metres, going away.

In the trail early for Barnes’ son Hayden, Trojan Banner ended up three back and in a hopeless possie turning for home.

Trainer Al Barnes … Trojan Banner has speed and stamina.Trainer Al Barnes … Trojan Banner has speed and stamina.“Hayden was a bit worried he wasn’t going to get a crack at them so he grabbed hold, went back and hooked out wide.

“He was rapt afterwards about how easily he did it.’’

Barnes said his other son Brendan was quick to run over and say: ‘I hope Hayden doesn’t want to drive that one’.

“But Hayden has first choice and he was pretty excited about the horse.

“He did it comfortably and could quite easily have gone a 1:54 or 1:55 mile.

“He steered well, hung in a little bit - but that could be because he’s only 90 percent fit - and handled the track well.

“That will tighten him up nicely and he can run on Tuesday week in a three-year-old race.

“Judging by that effort today he might have just as much speed as stamina.’’

Trojan Banner races past Much Bettor in Friday’s trial.Trojan Banner races past Much Bettor in Friday’s trial.Trojan Banner had no trouble running past Much Bettor, who has won four of his 11 starts, but his steady sectionals suggested he was simply too good for his rivals - his four quarters were run in 29.8, 29.2, 28.9 and 29.4.

Our Hi Jinx, a former Kiwi, won the previous heat in a 1:55.5 mile rate, home in 27.6.

“He’s one of the better free-for-allers over here,’’ Barnes said of the 19-race winner.

Trojan Banner is still owned by Lincoln Farms and a big partnership, including the 23-strong Green Machine Syndicate who race Friday night’s Auckland winner Celtic Thunder.

Their partners include the Four Legs Syndicate, a group of eight Waikato battlers who also share in Northview Hustler, Addington racing manager Brian Rabbitt and his sister Margaret, Joe and Raewyn Chojnacki and Lincoln Farms’ own team - owners John and Lynne Street, business manager Ian Middleton and office staffer Merle Gradwell.

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 4: Copy That

“He’s certainly got some speed. The race was all over by the time he got going last week and James never pulled the plugs. Clearly he’s the best horse in the field on ability. But there are no guarantees he’ll behave.’’

Race 4: Tommy Lincoln

“He’s trialling well but I won’t be expecting too much from gate six. He was a big, gangly, weak thing but he’s strengthened up a lot this time in.”

Race 4: Billy Lincoln

“It’s his first race, and first time away from Pukekohe and he’s drawn the inside of the second row so logic tells you he has a few things against him. Until six weeks ago he was extremely average but he’s progressively got better and better.”

Race 8: Governor’s Bay

“He had a tough trip last time so it wasn’t surprising he weakened. He’s training well and this field looks a lot easier.”

Al Barnes

Al’s comments

Friday at Albion Park

Race 1: Lincoln’s Girl
2.42pm NZ time

“It’s not a bad field but she’s as good as anything else in there and looks a top two chance with a little luck from the second row. She went super last time - I didn’t know how brave she’d be when I saw her caught in the chair but Hayden was very happy with how she went.”

Race 9: Vasari
7.22pm NZ time

“He should get out a lot better this week with Hayden back driving and we’ll be trying to cross the pole marker. The horse is really well and he’ll win one soon. It’s a good line-up but he should run top three.’’

Anthony Butt

Ants’ comments

Saturday night at Menangle

Race 7: Lets Strike The Gold
10.22pm NZ time

“This is a difficlut race for him to win and I’ll be driving him quietly from that barrier. It’s been nearly nine months since he raced and he’s going to need a couple of runs to get his race fitness.”

Race Images - Harness