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Chris Johnson brings Platinum Invador back to scale after running third in the New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie.

Aussie bookies brace for the Invador - he’s even short on the first Melbourne Cup market!

New Zealand Derby placegetter Platinum Invador will be on a plane across the Tasman in two weeks - but, incredibly, he’s already on the radar of Australian bookies.

Eight months out from the Melbourne Cup, Platinum Invador has appeared in Sportsbet’s first odds for the Flemington two-miler.

He is rated 25th equal as a tight $41 chance behind the early favourite, last year’s winner Cross Counter at $17, with 2017 winner Rekindling on $26.

The only other New Zealanders on the list are New Zealand Cup winner Bizzwinkle ($101), yesterday’s Auckland Cup runners Blue Breeze ($301) and Sir Charles Road ($301), Zacada ($301) and Tavlin ($501).

Seeing the horse grouped with some of the world’s best stayers shocked Neville McAlister, who races the horse with Lincoln Farms, considering no real consideration has even been given to the November feature.

A more pertinent quote is the $15 and $6 which TAB bookies have on Platinum Invador for the A$2 million Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 6.

That’s the race that trainer Lisa Latta has targetted for the horse who will fly to Sydney on March 26 and have his lead-up at Rosehill four days later in the Group II A$200,000 Tulloch Stakes (2000m).

McAlister says Platinum Invador has enjoyed a week’s R and R in the paddock since his eye-catching and unlucky late closing third in the derby.

Today he will start a week on the water walker.

“We just want to keep him off his legs as long as we can. Then he’ll have about a week at Lisa’s before flying out.’’

Fellow Kiwis also in the Australian Derby market are Surely Sacred, Vernanme, Arrogant and Cutadeel.

The Melbourne Cup odds which shocked part-owner Neville McAlisterThe Melbourne Cup odds which shocked part-owner Neville McAlister

Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

Sunday at Tauherenikau

Race 1: Lincoln Hanover

“He’s done very well since his first-up run at Awapuni and continues to please me. He has come up with the outside gate which isn’t ideal but he has the speed to get across them. The step-up in distance will help and, while the top two horses look hard to beat, he is capable of taking this out.’’

Race 6: Platinum Rapper

“She has trained on well since her first-up win. Tauherenikau is a track that does not get overly hard, which we are looking for. This race will tidy her up to head south. There are some handy types in it and she is up a rating band but I am happy with her progress and expect another good run.’’

Lincoln light

News in brief

STEPHEN POSITIVE:

AUTUMN PREP: Trainer Lisa Latta may consider an autumn campaign with Lincoln Falls if he comes through his gelding operation well, kicking off with the Group III Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa on April 27. The horse, who did not see out the derby trip last Saturday, went out to the paddock today for a freshen-up before visiting the vet.

RETIRED: Bush Whacked has been retired. Despite showing promise at trials the Sepoy three-year-old showed in three starts for Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh that he simply didn’t want to be a racehorse.

TOUCH FLAT: Rider Robbie Hannam told stewards he thought Platinum Touch was feeling the effects of her debut run and felt flat after beating only two home at Trentham.

LOST DREAMS: Dreams Of Platinum has been sold to Australia. The four-year-old mare won one race and placed seven times in 21 starts, earning nearly $35,000.