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Line Up is cruising on Friday night, the three-quarter length margin flattering runner-up Megastar. PHOTO: Trish Dunell.

Wow! Line Up puts them to bed and romance begins with some sweet talking from Zachary

Ace driver Zachary Butcher gave Line Up the ultimate compliment after his electric win at Alexandra Park on Friday night.

In just his second race start, and first for seven months, the classy looking Bettor’s Delight three-year-old showed an electric turn of speed four wide round the home turn to round up his rivals in a 1:56 mile.

And that prompted Butcher to liken the horse to a champion filly who captured all the headlines last season both here and across the Tasman.

“Potentially he feels like he’s got Belle On Montana speed,” Butcher said, a huge rap considering the Barry Purdon-trained filly won nine of her 12 starts, including four Group One features, unleashing terrific bursts of speed that destroyed her rivals.

“He’s just got so much speed and what I like most is how easily he does it. When you pull out he cruises up to them. We went 1:56 and it felt to me like he was walking.”

Butcher said horses as fast as Line Up were few and far between.

“What you need is speed and, if you can follow speed, then show more speed, that’s a killer.

“I’ve been lucky enough to drive a few over the years and he wouldn’t be worse than some of the best I’ve driven.

“Whether he’ll go up to the next level remains to be seen but we haven’t found the bottom of the tank with him yet - and hopefully that doesn’t arrive.”

Zachary Butcher brings Line Up back to scale after his decisive win. PHOTO: Peter Rubery/Race Images.Zachary Butcher brings Line Up back to scale after his decisive win. PHOTO: Peter Rubery/Race Images.Butcher reported Line Up raced far more tractably on Friday night after the removal of his block blinkers - “he was getting a bit racy with them on”.

And even though the colt was bolting at the 600 “and tried to take off, he came back to me 50 metres later.”

Butcher said Line Up just had to learn to wait but considering he’d raced only twice it was natural that ringcraft would come with further racing.

“Hopefully as the year progresses he will too and he’ll cop the racing.”

But Butcher felt enough on Friday night to know Line Up will be ultra competitive in the upcoming Sires’ Stakes series, which opens in the north at Cambridge on October 3.

When Line Up took off from his one out-three back possie 400 metres from home, and zoomed around the field four wide, tactics which are almost always fatal at Auckland, he put paid to his rivals in a twinkling.

“I was just sitting on him. We got a length in front, I whipped out the plugs and gave him one smack, and he took off again.

“That’s just a Bettor’s Delight trait - they knock off but when you ask them to go again, they do.”

At the post Line Up was cruising, even commentator Aaron White noting he had a couple of gears left, Butcher sitting quietly while chasing driver Peter Ferguson was throwing the reins at runner-up Megastar to get within a flattering three-quarters of a length.

With the leaders closing in 57.6 and 28 it was all too easy for Line Up, Butcher saying the race was always going to be just a building block for the future.

Trainer Ray Green confirmed he was aiming for the top with Line Up.

Ray and Debbie Green with Emilio Rosati who paid big money for Line Up in January.Ray and Debbie Green with Emilio Rosati who paid big money for Line Up in January.“Everything he’s done so far points to him being a top line horse but until he beats something good we won’t make any rash statements. They all look good going past trees and it wasn’t an awe inspiring time that he ran.

“But he’s an extremely nice horse, with untapped ability, and the potential to be anything. I’m very happy to have him in our barn.

“Copy That’s not far off being as good as well but whether they’re good enough to beat Mark Purdon’s ones we’ll find out in time.”

Line Up, bought for $130,000 as a yearling by Lincoln Farms’ boss John Street, now races under the name of Australians Emilio and Mary Rosati after his high priced sale in January.

He has the pedigree to be a big winner, being a full brother to Partyon, who took the Two-Year-Old Harness Jewels Diamond at just her second start, won her first 10 races in a row, and retired with 17 wins and $658,478 in stakes.

Our runners this week: How our trainers rate them

Ray Green

Ray’s comments

Friday night at Auckland

Race 1: Obadiah Dragon
6.07pm

“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
7.38pm

“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
8.31pm

“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
8.57pm

“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
8.57pm

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
8.57pm

“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
9.49pm

“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.”

Dan Costello Race Photography