On the Road to the derby and aren’t they excited about this Platinum!
Part-owner Neville McAlister admits he could be almost more excited about getting Platinum Road to the New Zealand Derby than he was with his stablemate Platinum Invador last season.
Platinum Road started out on the long road to Ellerslie in March with a game win at Trentham today, living up to the promise he’s shown for McAlister and Lincoln Farms’ partners John and Lynne Street.
And while it was only a maiden over 1600 metres, and Platinum Invador has already proven himself, running a very brave and unlucky third in the Ellerslie classic, McAlister says Platinum Road has all the attributes to do even better.
“He’s bred to go one and a half miles,” said McAlister of the gelding whose sire Declaration Of War left this year’s Victoria Derby winner Warning.
“He’s a bigger and stronger horse than Platinum Invador at the same age and whereas we had to ride Invador back to teach him to settle because he wanted to reef and pull, this horse just does what you ask.
“Leith (Innes) said he’s so laid back he’ll just do what you want him to. In fact he’s so lazy Leith says he’ll need a hood on at some stage.”
McAlister says Lisa Latta wasn’t the only confident one today, Innes also keen on his chances after having ridden the horse in his first start as a two-year-old, two weeks after Invador’s derby placing.
And Innes did an inch perfect job today, settling the horse four back on the fence before moving out approaching the turn and piercing a gap three out to challenge late and get the bob in by a head over Nudge Bar.
McAlister says Platinum Road is still quite babyish - “he’s big and gangly but he’s a beautiful horse who we’ll see a lot more of once he gets over 2000 metres.”
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Saturday at Hawera
Race 7: Lincoln Dreamer
“He has drawn 10 and because he is on the ballot I haven’t got a rider for him yet. He is looking great and has continued to work well. I won’t make a decision on whether to start him until race morning though as he needs a track better than the heavy 11s that he has been running on. The track at Hawera was a dead 5 this morning but there is rain forecast so I expect it will come back to the slow range. I will not run him if the track ends up any worse.”
Race 10/11: Almo Street
“They split the rating 65 1600 with so many nominations. He has made the field in race 10, the consolation, and is second ballot in race 11. If he makes the field in race 11 he must run there. Rain is forecast and he will not line up if the track is heavy. His work has been very good and he has taken fitness from his last runs.”