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Sad end for Rufus - but Platinum Invador earned the plaudits of punters everywhere

Just 10 months after celebrating one of their best days in racing at Pukekohe, Lincoln Farms’ owners John and Lynne Street endured one of their worst when Platinum Invador had to be euthenased at the same track.

Street today described the devastation in the camp on seeing the Auckland Cup winner go amiss 700 metres from home in the $220,000 QEII Cup.

Street, watching the race on a TV monitor in the birdcage, knew it was bad even before a compound fracture to the right fore cannon bone was diagnosed.

And when jockey Jonathan Riddell returned with news that their beloved Rufus had been put down, Street said it was one of the low points of his 38 years of racing horses.

Riddell, one of the country’s toughest riders, was virtually in tears as he told trainer Lisa Latta and their partner Neville McAlister that the eight-year-old had been travelling beautifully at the time and was just starting to come into the race.

“We’ve had a few break their legs over the years and you never get used to it,” Street said.

“Mikki Street won the Zabeel Classic for us in 2006 and broke a leg in training a week later. And only recently we lost a beautiful Sweynesse filly out of Princess Maryanne the same way. She won a jumpout and broke her leg pulling up.

“Platinum Invador was a lovely horse with a big heart and was one of the best we’ve raced with Neville.”

Platinum Invador’s will to win saw him finish in the top five in 29 of his 50 starts. And, despite winning only five races, his consistency in the best staying races saw him earn $883,860 in stakes, a grand tally for a $25,000 yearling buy.

Platinum Invador (Leith Innes) scores one of his best wins in the 2020 City Of Auckland Cup. PHOTO: Trish Dunell.Platinum Invador (Leith Innes) scores one of his best wins in the 2020 City Of Auckland Cup. PHOTO: Trish Dunell.While his Auckland Cup win in March was his career best he also:

  • Won the 2020 City Of Auckland Cup
  • Ran third in the 2021 Auckland Cup
  • Ran third in the 2019 New Zealand Derby
  • Was nosed out of the 2020 Avondale Cup and
  • Was nosed out of the 2021 City Of Auckland Cup.

The Redwood - Atomic Dancer gelding campaigned four times in Australia, first to Sydney and Melbourne then twice in Brisbane.

It was in Queensland in May, 2021 that he damaged a tendon which kept him from racing for 18 months.

But with the aid of stem cell surgery, he made a fine comeback, winning another $434,057 in prizemoney, despite his consistency seeing him often lumbered with the top weight.

Latta kept Platinum Invador pretty much to weight-for-age racing in this latest campaign, his powerful second in October’s Livamol Classic confirming he was on target for another Auckland Cup tilt.

The speedy Lincoln Lady, who won four races in a row this year, has been retired to stud. PHOTO: Peter Rubery/Race Images.The speedy Lincoln Lady, who won four races in a row this year, has been retired to stud. PHOTO: Peter Rubery/Race Images.Losing Platinum Invador continues a bad run for the Streets who have just had to retire the speedy Lincoln Lady to stud.

Winner of four of her only seven starts for trainer Stephen Marsh, her dodgy knees gave out in the Newmarket Handicap at Pukekohe on Boxing Day.

That, on top of the career ending injury to iron pacer Tommy Lincoln in Brisbane and the latest news of a tendon problem with Colonel Lincoln have tempered the holiday spirit.

“But you have to be resilient in this game and we’ll move on,” Street said.

“We have high hopes for Neville’s latest one, Platinum Attack.”

Our runners this week

Wednesday at Hastings

Billy Lincoln.