Race Images - Gallops

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 trainers rate them

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

Wednesday at Hastings

Race 5 & 7: Platinum Appeal

“She hasn’t been 100% in her action in the last three or four days and we have some foot issues to sort out. She won’t be running. We’ll wait for Palmy next week.’’

Race 6: Authentic Charm

“I have chosen to back her up as this will be one of the last good tracks we will get - it’s a dead 4 today. We’ve got the in-form Zinjete Moki who claims 2kg down to 54.5kg. She meets a small line-up and this looks like a nice race for her in her last run for the season.’’

Race 8: Lincoln’s Gal

“She has come through her last start at Woodville very well. She beat herself that day when she missed the kick and ran home very well. With the rating 65 having being split, it means she meets a small but even field. From the good draw Jonathan Riddell should be able to possie up and be right in the finish.’’

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

Saturday at Trentham

Race 7: Platinum Rapper

“She galloped really well on Thursday and has progressed very well since her last run. The big, roomy track suits her and the conditions won’t worry her so I’m confident she’s a big chance.”

Race 8: Lincoln Fury

“I don’t want the track too heavy for him. I’ll wait until race morning to see how it is and what’s scratched but we may wait for Wanganui next Saturday. His work has been good but he just may be coming to the end of his preparation.’’

Lincoln light

News in brief

GREEN FIBRILLATES: Lincoln Green had an atrial fibrillation at Otaki on Thursday and will need a vet clearance before racing again. The horse raced keenly early but gave ground quickly near the 600 metre mark and rider Robbie Hannam did not persevere with him in the run home when he suspected there was something amiss.