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Platinum Road … ready to fulfil his staying potential at Trentham on Saturday. PHOTO: Peter Rubery/Race Images.

Long and winding road for Platinum Road leads to Trentham on Saturday

Trainer Lisa Latta is looking forward to seeing what Platinum Road can do at Trentham on Saturday now that he’s getting up over ground and is sound.

It’s been 21 months since Platinum Road signalled he had a good staying future for owners Lincoln Farms and Neville McAlister when eighth in the New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie.

He’s raced only seven times since and had only two middle distance trips but both times he was feeling a splint, which eventually saw Latta turn him out for a long spell.

This time in, however, everything has gone to plan and Latta believes he’s come up better than ever.

“He’s a big strong horse now, he looks a picture, and is nice and sound after having a lot of niggly problems last time.

“He’s going to be a lovely staying horse and we’ll ride him like that on Saturday.”

Rider Jonathan Riddell advised Latta he wanted to handle Platinum Road more patiently next time after he raced sixth in the running at Otaki and didn’t find any late dash when 2.9 lengths from winner Orlov.

That was his third run this prep, and first over 1600 metres, but on Saturday he steps up to his favoured middle distance.

“The 2200 metres is ideal and with some cover he should finish the race off well down the long straight.”

Latta also lines up stablemate Platinum Spirit in the same race, back from running two placings at the Riccarton cup carnival.

“But he’s more of a dour staying type, whereas Platinum Road has a better turn of foot.”

Lincoln Raider in his last win at Trentham nearly two years ago, under Kozzi Asano. PHOTO: Peter Rubery/Race Images.Lincoln Raider in his last win at Trentham nearly two years ago, under Kozzi Asano. PHOTO: Peter Rubery/Race Images.Raider’s big chance

Lincoln Raider gets his best chance of returning to the winner’s circle this prep when he tackles the final race over 1600 metres.

But while he won’t find it easy against another Latta runner in the progressive four-year-old He’s A Doozy, Latta loves the fact he’s getting back to his favourite course.

Lincoln Raider has racked up three wins, a second and a third from six starts at Trentham, his only time out of the money when his knees were troubling him and he was sent for a long spell.

Lincoln Raider also showed he was primed when taking time honours on the course proper at Awapuni on Tuesday, galloping over 1000 metres with stablemate Lincoln’s Kruz in 1:05.3, the last 600 in 35.8.

The only question mark hanging over the horse is his habit of blowing the start, a mistake which wrecked his chance at Awapuni last start.

“He had no chance last time after getting back after a slow start, when they were winning on the speed. Jonathan is back on board on Saturday and from the inside draw he will be able to get him out the gates.

“It’s not the best draw for him though because he likes clear air when winding up so it will be up to Jonathan to find it.

“Hopefully the going will be in the dead range and with a soft trip he can get over the top of them.”

The track reading this morning was a good 3 with a fine forecast.