Canterbury harness racing fans got to see the very best of the Ray Green trained Sir Lincoln at the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club's meeting held at Addington Raceway today (Saturday).
The brilliant son ofcould not have been more impressive in pole-axing his opposition by four and a half lengths in the $25,000 Group Three Summer Cup over 2600 metres, a distance his trainer had previously believed was beyond the best of his capabilities.
“He’s really at his best at 2200 metres or less, but he even impressed me today, maybe I’m a little biased,” Green said. Sir Lincoln was driven by James Stormont in the absence of regular pilot Maurice McKendry who is engaged to drive Sovereignty in tonight’s $250,000 Inter Dominion Trotters Grand Final being held at Tabcorp Park in Melton, Victoria.
Stormont speared Sir Lincoln straight to the lead from a handy draw, but with favourite Gomeo Romeo on his back the win was far from guaranteed. “He had to work at the start and finish of the race, so I thought his performance was quite awesome really,” Green added.
Gomeo Romeo stuck gamely to second while former NZ derby winner Captain Peacock put-in a much improved performance rattling home late for third. Champion pacer Monkey King would have satisfied his connections finishing on nicely for fourth, while fifth placed Mah Sish was again solid, but looks to be anything but a grand-circuit performer.
The winning time for Sir Lincoln was 3.12.9, sprinting home in 56 and 27.5 for the final sectionals. Next-up for the North Island trained pacer will be the Magic Mile at Ashburton in a week’s time where Green is hoping Sir Lincoln can better his career best 1.54.5, which he recorded when winning the Harness Jewels at Cambridge as a three year old.
Two races earlier the Paul Nairn trained Dr Hook showed why he is still one of the best squaregaiters in the country with a dominant performance to win the $25,000 Group Three Summer Trotting Fee-For-All in the hands of Jim Curtin. The son ofwas left midfield and flat-footed for most of the race with Clover Don (parked) and Musgrove (lead) engaged in a war up front. Curtin unleashed “the doctor” with 600m to run and came with a paralyzing sprint to gobble-up the leaders, scoring a decisive win by a length from a much improved King Charlie (second) and a brave Clover Don (third).