Wide alley hoodoo and Queensland’s big wet conspire against Argyle and Nemo

Don’t expect Argyle and Captain Nemo to feature at Albion Park on Saturday night.

Trainer Mark Dux says not only will wide draws again minimise their chances but the continuous wet weather has also hampered their preparation.

“I planned to train Argyle twice this week but only did once. We’ve had storms nearly every night and had that much rain, it’s left surface water on the track.

“We’re right on the coast and get all the coastal rain. It’s been horrendous and the humidity today was an absolute shocker.

“You walk and you sweat. The horses are feeling it too. It definitely knocks some of them around.

“I raced one yesterday and had to hose her five times during the day. You’re forever trying to keep them cool.”

Dux says Argyle has so many things against him in the opening race on Saturday night he’ll have to be driven conservatively, unlike his last start, when he powered forward and sat parked throughout for a close third.

“If he’d been racing week in and week out, I wouldn’t have been frightened to put him in the race. I’m happy enough with him but it’s his first for six weeks so he’s not at his best.”

Dux was forced to back off Argyle in mid-December to allow him time to recover from an infection in his foot.

“He’s fine again now but we’ll drive him quietly, go back and hope for a little luck.

“It’s a good, strong field and he doesn’t need to be ripping round them in his first run back. He’ll be relying on how hard they go.”

Captain Nemo again draws the outside of the gate in the eighth race.

“I’ve lost count of how many times he’s drawn badly. The ones inside him have all got gate speed so we’ll drive him quietly early too. He can’t be three and four wide when they’re running a 27 quarter.

“He’ll come out steady and then we’ll play it by ear. I’m confident he’ll race well - he trained well this week - and at some stage I’m sure Angus (Garrard) will try to make his own luck.”

Argyle races at 8.43pm NZ time at Albion Park on Saturday night.Argyle races at 8.43pm NZ time at Albion Park on Saturday night.Captain Nemo races at 12.19am NZ time at Albion Park on Saturday night.Captain Nemo races at 12.19am NZ time at Albion Park on Saturday night.

Our runners this week

Saturday night at Albion Park


Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 2: Frisco Bay

“He obviously needed the run last week. He pulled his way round the field and sat outside the leader but he couldn’t cop a run like that first-up and got tired. The ability is there, whether he’s fit enough or not we’ll find out. But I expect him to go well, the three draw is much better than last week.”

Race 2: Lenny Lincoln

“He’ll probably need a race but he’s capable of running a slot. He’s unlucky not to have won a race, all three of his seconds were good. He’s got a bit better with each of his trials this time in and he got home well last Saturday, after coming widest on the turn.”

Race 3: Obadiah Dragon

“The way the race was run at Cambridge last week, his effort wasn’t bad at all. Moni (Monika Ranger) said he felt strong and, if he’d been a few slots closer, he would have been right in it. He’ll be improved for the run.”

Race 3: Leo Lincoln

“He’s very consistent - he’s only missed a couple of cheques. But he’s another just coming back and should improve with the run.”

Whales Harness