“In saying that Self Assured and Lochinvar Art are both short-priced favourites and that’s why our fella is at long odds,” Barnes said.
Barnes’ other Group One drives are behind Lincoln’s Girl in the $100,000 Queensland Oaks (7.33pm) and Northview Hustler in the $100,000 Sunshine Sprint (8.39pm).
“Our Princess Tiffany is going to be very hard to beat from the draw (4) in the Oaks, and Northview Hustler could get some of it if Colt Thirty he can hold the lead. We should be one-out-and-one-back, or two-out-and-two-back at worst,” he said.
Barnes said it was every driver’s dream to win any races, especially when the big money is up.
“I’ve been driving six or seven years now and I’m still trying to get that elusive Group win. It’s something we all dream of, and to have three drives on one of our biggest nights of the year is a great thrill.
“The horses are a real credit to Dad. He has done a great job with them. It’s going to be a great night. People from Lincoln Farms in New Zealand are coming over. All up I heard there’s about 30 or 40 coming over – so no pressure,” Barnes said.
“If it doesn’t work out this Saturday, then there’s always another big night to come seven days later. No matter what the race, or where it is, it’s still very important tome that I beat home my brother (Brendan),” he added.
Barnes went through his book of rives for Racing Queensland. Here’s what he had to say (with draws and TAB odds):
Race 3: The Al Barnes trained VISARI (2) $1.70 – “Even though he’s the favourite, this is still a tricky race for him, especially over the 2,138m. He’s better with a sit. He’s racing real well at the moment and just needs luck. If he gets a good trip he will go close. We sat on Trojan Banner’s back last start and he dropped the bit and then got going again in straight. Each-way.”
Race 5: The Al Barnes trained TROJAN BANNER (11) $71 – “The short-priced favourites in this explain his large win price. When the odds came out for next week’s Derby he was quoted as a $5 third favourite. Northview Hustler is our current stable star, but next year I think it might be this fella. He’s going to develop into a real nice 4-year-old. If he gets a nice trip he can give them a shake-up. He follows speed real well.”
Race 6: The Al Barnes trained LINCOLN’S GIRL (2) $34 – “If she doesn’t pull she goes real well. If she pulls she doesn’t run on. Then again if she settles she can run in the top five here. She’s a rough place show if she can get a nice trip. If she gets that she won’t be too far away.”
Race 7: The Al Barnes trained LINCOLN ROAD (2) $5.50 – “He’s racing real well. The wet track didn’t suit him last week and this time he drops back in grade. He is a nice each-way show in this. He’s my best chance of the night with the trip.”
Race 8: The Al Barnes trained NORTHVIEW HUSTLER (10) $16 – “With the second row scratching he now follows out the favourite, Colt Thirty One, which will help. I’d say Grant (Dixon) will/lead with him and stablemates Our Uncle same and Alta Orlando should go and have a look outside Colt Thirty One. At worst I should be one or two back in the second line. If I don’t have to pull him out until the 300m he should be right in the hunt. If we do get one go at them I would rate him an each-way chance.”