Day At The Track

Lincoln poised to deliver for Mortimer

08:31 AM 10 Jan 2019 NZDT
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When Rocknroll Lincoln lines up in this Friday night’s Retravision-Fremantle Cup (2536m), it will deliver his owner Glen Mortimer his proudest moment in a sport he has held dear to him for more than 40 years.

Mortimer will have a dual role to play in Friday night’s feature, as an owner of a runner in the $300,000 event, as well as being the major sponsor of the race with Retravision.

Mortimer recalls spending a countless number of hours at Richmond Raceway as a teenager, where his love for Harness Racing grew.

“I used to go and watch trials at Richmond Raceway when horses like Mount Eden were racing,” he said.

“My parents often played tennis at a tennis court across the road from the Raceway, so I would sneak across and watch Mount Eden trial.

“Watching participants like Fred Kersley and Chris Lewis and horses like James Eden, Binshaw then Preux Chevalier and Village Kid, I thought it was a great spectacle.

“Seeing the horses go around the track two or three times a race and being really close to the action, it’s exhilarating.”

Mortimer first got involved in ownership as an 18-year-old and said he has now had more than 150 winners as an owner, the highlight of those being Kim Prentice’s Breeders’ Stakes winner Absolutely Ruthless.

The success with Absolutely Ruthless prompted Mortimer to continue investing in the industry, which has also provided a few speed bumps for him along the way.

“I had a horse called Alberta Retreat, who was beaten as a $1.30 favourite in the WA Derby,” he said.

“He won eight of his first nine starts and we thought he was a real good one.

“Since then, we have tried to get that really good horse.

“I had one win an Easter Cup, but he hurt his leg and we lost him.

“That kept me motivated to find a really good one.”

The persistence and patience Mortimer has shown to try and get ‘the good one’ is now a realistic chance to pay off over the next fortnight.

Rocknroll Lincoln has emerged as a genuine Fremantle Cup contender over the past month, taking out the Bunbury Cup and a Free-For-All at Gloucester Park.

It was a ride that Mortimer almost wasn’t a part of.

Mortimer had a small team of pacers with Rocknroll Lincoln’s trainer Justin Prentice a couple of years ago, a team he was happy to keep small.

When Prentice went to New Zealand in 2017, he called Mortimer to try and get him involved in the son of Rocknroll Hanover.

“I had four or five horses with Justin and I said to him ‘I’ll sit with what I’ve got’,” Mortimer said.

“He called me from New Zealand and said ‘I know you’re not interested in getting anymore horses, but just watch the video on this link and let me know what you think’.

“I was taken with his gate speed, so I called Justin straight back and told him that I’d be in.

“I called up another mate after that and said ‘I’ve just bought the best horse I’ll ever have’.”

In a further boost for Rocknroll Lincoln’s Fremantle Cup prospects, champion reinsman Gary Hall Jnr has elected to stick with him instead of his father Gary Hall Snr’s horse Runrunjimmydunn.

The five-year-old will start from barrier four in the Fremantle Cup, with short price favourite My Field Marshal to start from barrier two.

Mortimer said it would be a tough task for Rocknroll Lincoln to beat My Field Marshal, the fastest horse in Australasia, but was elated with Hall Jnr sticking by his charge.

“Junior is worth two or three lengths because he’s the best in the sport,” he said.

“I would’ve thought he’d bustle him out of the gate and maybe get to the breeze and see what happens from there.

“My Field Marshal is an outstanding horse and he’s drawn very well.

“Galactic Star was unlucky in the Inter Dominion where he stormed home and ran sixth.”

After years of watching the champions win one of the state’s biggest races in the sport he loves, Mortimer said he was daring to dream about having his own horse win it.

“It’s one of the great time-honoured events in WA pacing,” he said.

“Last year we had one of the greatest races of all time at Gloucester Park with Lazarus and My Hard Copy.

“It would be one of the biggest thrills in life…I love Harness Racing.

“I’d love to be up there on Friday night handing myself the trophy.”

Rocknroll Lincoln is on the fourth line of betting with TABtouch for the Fremantle Cup at $12, with Miracle Mile and Village Kid Sprint winner My Field Marshal rated a $1.50 chance.

 

Tim Walker

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