High-flying Lisa: Invador might be a Livamol outsider but he’s working the house down
Platinum Invador might not have the profile of a typical Livamol Classic winner but high-flying trainer Lisa Latta is still predicting he’ll go a cheeky race in Hastings’ $450,000 Spring feature on Saturday.
The now eight-year-old stayer hasn’t won a race since the Auckland Cup (3200m) at Pukekohe in March and his previous win in the City Of Auckland Cup (2400m) was three years and nine months ago in January, 2020.
You have to go back almost another year to find the last time he won a race at a distance as short as the Livamol’s 2040 metres.
But while the third leg of the Hastings Triple Crown has mostly featured younger stars, nine-year-old Willie Cazals showed veterans could compete too when he scored in 2016, trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott bringing the former Italian and Hong Kong galloper back from two bowed tendons.
A tendon injury in Queensland in May, 2021 also railroaded Platinum Invador’s career and he lines up a veteran of only 45 starts on Saturday.
Latta says she couldn’t be happier with the way the horse is looking after two lead-up races.
A bold first-up third over 1600 metres on the first day of the Hastings Carnival on September 9, Platinum Invador never flattered in the Metric Mile at Awapuni two weeks later.
“But that was a complete forgive run as he got stuck down on the inside in (heavy) track conditions he didn’t like,” Latta said.
“He came through that race really well and has been working the house down.”
Latta knows Platinum Invador will have to be right at the top of his game to feature on Saturday, over a distance shorter than his best, and bookies rate him only the $26 ninth favourite.
“But I’ve added blinkers to his gear to sharpen him up and I expect he will run a very cheeky race.
“From a perfect draw of five, Vinnie Colgan should be able to get him one-off with cover.”
Colgan’s first ride on Platinum Invador in April saw him run fourth in the Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m) when he carried 57kg. On Saturday Platinum Invador has 59kg, but he is comparatively better off at weight-for-age.
Latta has continued on from where she left off in the 2022-23 season, when third equal on the premiership with her best bankroll of $2.53 million, saddling a string of 10 Group and Listed winners. Her tally of three this term is only one behind the Te Akau juggernaut of Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson.
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“I am really happy with how he has bounced back - he appeared to be a much happier horse all of last week and his work on Thursday morning was back to his best. I am confident he can be competitive from the nice draw. Masa Hashizume has been riding in great form and should really suit him.”