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.”
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.
More news in Gallops
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Fast and furious - 1000 metre dash on Wellington Cup day next for Lincoln’s Kruz
Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them
Saturday at Trentham
Race 1: Lincoln Valley
“He didn’t have all favours last start- he was three wide without cover the trip and the effort told in the last bit. He also got squeezed up a little late. From the six draw we will go forward and I’m sure Lisa will have learned a lot from him in his last run. His work has been really good and I have added a nasal strip as he is quite a noisy breather and it may help. It’s not an overly strong field and the big roomy track will suit.”
Race 7: Platinum Spirit
“We are racing him out of his grade so he gets in at a nice light weight. Carrying 60kg last start was a really big ask and he got there a touch too soon. He has drawn awkwardly at 12 but he has the ability to put himself in the race if there’s a lack of speed. He looks fantastic and still holds a nomination for the Wellington Cup next week but might need to gain a few more points to get into the field. Chris Dell rides.”
Race 8: Father Lenihan
“The outside draw is tricky but Robbie knows him well - he’s ridden him in three of his four wins - and I’m sure he will make him jump and put him on the speed. He’s been out of the winner’s circle for a while but he went a great race last start and this field is nowhere near as strong. We were going to step him up over ground but he sits so awkwardly in the ratings at 76 that he would be carrying the top weight of 62kg in a R74 2000m.”