A bizarre harness racing decision has robbed Auckland Cup winner Sir Lincoln of his shot at Addington glory this week.
The exceptional pacer was never a realistic New Zealand Cup contender because of an interrupted preparation but was in Christchurch for a free-for-all at Addington tomorrow, to be followed by the New Zealand Free-For-All on Friday.
The latter, to be run over a mobile mile for the first time, was Sir Lincoln's chance to break an Addington track record and further enhance his stallion career. However, stewards have ruled Sir Lincoln cannot start on Friday after being ruled out of tomorrow's lead-up races.
Trainer Ray Green was worried his stable star was suffering from a minor chest infection after a so-so performance in last Wednesday's Cup trial.
A lung scope yesterday suggested he was improving but wouldn't be right for tomorrow, with Green still keen to race in the free-for-all on Friday.
"But I was told by the stewards if he didn't race on Tuesday he couldn't start Friday," said Green.
"So he will be on the float home on Monday, which I think is a lose-lose situation for everybody."
It also raises the question: Would Green have been better to have kept his mouth shut, given the son ofa quiet run as a hot favourite tomorrow and then still have been allowed for start on Friday?
The answer is yes. But he was too honest to do that.
Which is why he will watch Cup day from home in Auckland.
by Michael GUERIN (Courtesy of the NEW ZEALAND HERALD)
Sir Lincoln winning this year's Auckland Cup: