Lethaby was always confident with impressive debutant

By Garrick Knight

A trip to Southland is looming on the horizon for Thursday’s ultra-impressive debut winner Ashburton, Bundoran.

The three-year-old Sir Lincoln gelding showed rare speed to surge up the passing lane and beat another handy type in Unico Veloce, justifying the faith his connections have in him.

“On ability we were confident,” said co-trainer Amber Lethaby, who also did the driving.

“He took a couple of cracks at qualifying because he just got a little bit over eager to do things.

“But he’s got a lot better with every run he’s had and his ability has never been in question.”

After stepping well from the mile-and-a-half standing start point, Lethaby opted to take a trail on Bundoran behind Unico Veloce.

The latter got a fairly soft lead in front, but was touched up by Calypso Rock in the 500 metres approaching the home straight.

It took the sting out of the leader and allowed Bundoran to accelerate past him with ease over the last furlong.

“Even if that didn’t happen, I’m pretty sure I probably would have got the leader anyway because we think quite a bit of our fella.”

Australian interest is there in the horse, and regular high-end buyer from Perth, Greg Bond, inspected the horse on Wednesday before flying home, but no deal has been reached as yet.

“I couldn’t say for sure whether he’s staying here or being sold; we’ll have to wait and see.

“We’ve had some interest but maybe the Sir Lincoln factor is putting a few of them off.

“To us, we know he’s a nice horse and we’re not going to let him go for nothing.”

So, Southland might be next, with Lethaby’s husband and training partner, Jason, mapping out a course for the horse.

“It’s back to the drawing board now, pretty much, and seeing what we’re serious about.

“I’m not too sure but I know Jason was keen on getting him down south and looking at some of the Southern Supremacy heats.

“Time will tell whether that’s going to work out or not.

“At the moment, we’re sticking him to stands so we’re going to have to put him in mobiles if that’s a real option.”

Lethaby says they’ve never had a Sir Lincoln in the stable before, but purchased him on type for just $5,000 at last year’s Christchurch yearling sale.

“He’s the only one we’ve got in the stable.

“He’s isn’t tall, but is strong and really solid. There’s still plenty of improvement in him too.

“My husband owns half of him with three other guys, just loyal owners that we’ve had with us for a long time.

“And we’re all just absolutely stoked to have a good horse.”

One race later, Canterbury media darling Cassie Fahey, home from Australia to cover Cup Week for Sky Racing, had cause to celebrate.

Her family’s horse, Cheezel, won the junior drivers’ race at her first start for Woodend Beach horseman, Regan Todd.

Fahey, along with sister Tess and dad, Brian, were there to celebrate what was the daughter of Betterthancheddar’s fourth win, the previous three coming under Brian’s tutelage.

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