The changing nature of northern harness trials could be one reason to expect a Ray Green-trained double at Alexandra Park tonight.
Green lines up what should be the Pick 6 anchor in Make Way (race seven) while he has three reps in the last race and they will dominate the market.
Green's Lincoln Farms stables also had some favoured runners at Alexandra Park last Friday but most looked a run short and he says that is because of a lack of competitive trials.
"The trials and workouts up here often have smaller fields these days and can therefore become sprints home," says Green. "That is why we are seeing horses go to the races and not quite be ready to win."
That is exaggerated by the super fast times often run at Alexandra Park so Green's second-up horses look big improvers and therefore the ones to bank on tonight.
Make Way was a class juvenile last season but got too far back in a sprint home last Friday yet made good ground in a 56.2 second last 800m. He meets easier opposition and has barrier two so should win.
Green has three runners in the last race and while Beaudiene Western might ultimately prove to be the best of them he hasn't raced this season so should be treated with caution if the recent fresh up runners trend continues.
Green says splitting the trio is not easy but Recco Lover is the one he expects to improve the most.
"He was mucking around mid-race last week which he can do but will be sharper for that outing.
"He is actually a very good horse and if we can keep him sound he will do some good things for us. He is sound at the moment and with that run under his belt last week I'll go for him as the best chance."
Tonight's meeting also sees the return of Lemond off a 50m handicap in race five and while Speeding Spur successfully overcame the same challenge last Friday, Lemond has had one less workout.
"If they trot 3:32 or 3:33 he can probably win but it will be hard for him if they trot 3:30 off the front," says trainer Ross Paynter.
●Kiwi pacing champ Lazarus goes head-to-head with new arch rival McWicked in the US$175,000 Hoosier Park Derby in Indiana tomorrow afternoon as he tries to put his North American campaign back on a winning track.
Tonight: Alexandra Park.
Tomorrow: Lazarus races early afternoon in Indiana.
Sunday: Hannon Memorial at Oamaru.