Racing

Lincoln Road banking on good first-up record

Trainer Shane Baertschiger is hoping smart sprinter LINCOLN ROAD's brilliant first-up record will put him in good stead for his comeback race in tonight's $125,000 Kranji Stakes A race over 1,200m in Race 5 at Kranji.

The son of Swiss Ace has not raced since his close second to Wimbledon in a Kranji Stakes A race over 1,200m on Sept 9 last year.

It was actually the third time in a row the New Zealand-owned gelding was playing second fiddle, including in the Group 3 Garden City Trophy over 1,200m which was captured by Rafaello last August.

Before that run of seconds, and one third, Lincoln Road underlined his potential with five wins in a row, all in Polytrack sprints, even if his last two seconds on turf make him less one-dimensional.

"He had a nice break and has come back in great shape. I was very happy with his trial last Thursday (won)," said Baertschiger.

"He is unbeaten first-up and I expect him to run well. Super Winner will be the horse to beat but he's got 6kg more than my horse."

With only 53.5kg allotted to Lincoln Road, Baertschiger has called upon Matthew Kellady for the steering job, while his No. 1 jockey John Powell will take the ride on his second runner FAALTLESS, who gets 55kg.

"Faaltless didn't go so well on Polytrack at his last start. He'll be better back on the turf," said Baertschiger.

"With the handicaps being what they are, I've put Matty on Lincoln Road and JP on Faaltless, but both horses are going well and I hope both put in a good run.

"But obviously, Lincoln Road is the horse with more upsides. He's run second at his last three starts in very good company and the light weight will help."

Baertschiger, who is at his sixth season, has made a great start to the new year, currently sitting third on six winners, including a fabulous four-timer on Jan 2.

Wonder Worker can be rewarded in Race 5

RACE 1 (1,000M)

A Juvenile race. There are five first-timers entered, so one eye needs to be kept on the betting.

Of those that have run before, it looks likely that (6) LAWDY MISS CLAWDY and (8) MARINELLA could fight out the finish.

Lawdy Miss Clawdy was supported in the betting on debut and only got tired late. She is likely to come on from the experience. Marinella was caught late on debut.

RACE 2 (1,400M)

(1) HANOVER STREET put in his best performance last time out and does have Gavin Lerena in the irons. A wide draw is not in his favour though.

(3) CHINA EXPRESS has been disappointing lately in the Western Cape but, from pole position draw, should run very well.

(4) BRITISH FAIRY is holding form and should fight out the finish.

(5) BRUCE'S BEATY has a place chance.

RACE 3 (2,400M)

(1) COUNT RED makes his local debut and could improve.

(2) MESSAGEINABOTTLE likes the turf and, although he has never won, he could finish in the money in this line-up.

(3) SILVER EXPRESS ran his best race last time out and should run well.

(6) EASTERN PEARL has been unlucky not to win a race yet but this could well be his day and he does look hard to oppose.

(7) BONGANI can place.

RACE 4 (2,000M)

This race is very likely to go the way of the Alan Greeff yard but which one of his four entrants is the question.

(1) KANARA has very good recent form and was by no means disgraced when fourth last time out. Lerena rides this one.

Greg Cheyne is aboard (2) SANCTUARY. This filly has won her last two starts nicely but this is a lot stronger.

(3) VELVET ORCHID and (4) PIRANGI can win.

RACE 5 (1,600M)

The Andrew Fortune and Justin Snaith combination have had a miserable time of things lately in the Eastern Cape but their entrant (1) WONDER WORKER should run very well in this race.

(3) ANOTHER NIGHT was making good late progress last time out and clearly holds a winning chance.

(5) CHIT CHAT is improving and, although she has a tricky draw for jockey Craig Zackey to overcome, she can win.

RACE 6 (1,600M)

(1) HIGH FASHION is in very good form and has won two of her last three starts. She will have to carry top weight to win this race though.

(2) TRICIA DUPONT was full of running when slamming subsequent winner Star Burst Galaxy over this course and distance last month. If repeating that, she is the one to beat.

(4) GIMME NOW may have needed her last start when disappointing .

RACE 7 (1,200M)

A very open contest.

(1) ZEVENASTIC did well to win his latest start and could be even better this distance.

(2) FLIGHT CAPTAIN is improving and has won his last two starts. He deserves the utmost respect again.

(3) SOVIET COSMONAUT is holding his form very nicely and should again contest the finish.

(4) SEYMOUR ran on well in his latest but has not won for some time.

(6) BAAHIR can win.

RACE 8 (1,200M)

A competitive race.

The Snaith-trained pair of (1) SUNSET TRIPP and (2) CUP CAKE hold winning chances. Cup Cake is likely to be the better of the two as she should be near peak fitness.

(3) NATURAL TAN is not the most reliable filly but does have a winning chance.

(4) NIGHT IN TAHITI proved most disappointing on the Polytrack on her local debut but is capable of a lot better than that.