Platinum Road has unexposed jumpout form and a top rider for his debut on Saturday
On debut, in a stakes race against three winners, and with no official trial form, most punters will put the line through Platinum Road at Trentham on Saturday.
The bookies certainly don’t rate the horse, opening him up at $41 and $5.50. But the colt has shown plenty of ability in three jumpouts for trainer Lisa Latta and, with a good draw and top jockey Leith Innes aboard, could surprise.
“He worked very nicely during the week and I am happy with him going into his debut,’’ says Latta.
“He is still learning about the game but from two he should be able to get a nice run just in behind the pace. I expect him to run a bold race.’’
An indication of the regard the colt is held in is that he holds a nomination for the $225,000 Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) on March 30. He would need to win on Saturday to have any chance of making the Group I field.
Longer term, Latta is looking at taking the colt to Riccarton for the $50,000 Champagne Stakes (1200m) on May 4 at Riccarton.
“I think he will be better over 1400 metres and 1600 metres.’’
Latta is wary of being too confident with Platinum Road on Saturday given he is up against smart Trentham debut winner Equinox, Wanganui winner In Fashion and Wairoa winner Serena.
But Latta has sung the praises of the two-year-old since his first jumpout on December 2 when he was slow out but let down nicely in the straight over 600 metres at Levin, finishing third of four.
“This colt has a bit of class about him and is a very nice mover,’’ Latta said that day.
Two weeks later, in a four-horse field over 850 metres, Platinum Road powered home to win easily.
Latta’s comment that day: “He has a very nice galloping action and I think he is a promising horse in the making.’’
Platinum Road’s progress went on hold for a while after that when the decision was made to geld him to avoid problems with his larger than normal testicles.
When he reappeared on February 20, again over 850 metres at the Levin jumpouts, he was an even better galloper, according to Latta.
Deliberately given a quiet run, he quickened nicely in the straight and, under no pressure, ran third, beaten less than a length.
“It was a very pleasing jumpout,’’ Latta said on the day. “He is a horse with a lot of ability and he was certainly a lot better behaved after being gelded.’’
Today Latta sees a horse with a really good temperament who is certainly capable of running into the money first-up.
The Trentham track was today a dead 6 and with little rain forecast until after the meeting, Latta says it should be perfect for him.
Platinum Road, who cost owners Neville McAlister and Lincoln Farms $60,000 as a Karaka yearling, is by the relatively unknown sire Declaration Of War who shuttled to Australia for two seasons from Coolmore Stud in Ireland.
A Group I winning son of War Front, he now stands at a fee of US$35,000 in Kentucky.
The colt’s dam Snow Petal won two races here from only 11 starts.
Te Akau’s Equinox looks the one to beat after his strong 1000 metre debut win at Trentham. He failed last time on slow conditions in the Matamata Slipper so would not want the track to deteriorate.
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Sunday at Tauherenikau
Race 1: Lincoln Hanover
“He’s done very well since his first-up run at Awapuni and continues to please me. He has come up with the outside gate which isn’t ideal but he has the speed to get across them. The step-up in distance will help and, while the top two horses look hard to beat, he is capable of taking this out.’’
Race 6: Platinum Rapper
“She has trained on well since her first-up win. Tauherenikau is a track that does not get overly hard, which we are looking for. This race will tidy her up to head south. There are some handy types in it and she is up a rating band but I am happy with her progress and expect another good run.’’
News in brief
AUTUMN PREP: Trainer Lisa Latta may consider an autumn campaign with Lincoln Falls if he comes through his gelding operation well, kicking off with the Group III Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa on April 27. The horse, who did not see out the derby trip last Saturday, went out to the paddock today for a freshen-up before visiting the vet.
RETIRED: Bush Whacked has been retired. Despite showing promise at trials the Sepoy three-year-old showed in three starts for Cambridge trainer Stephen Marsh that he simply didn’t want to be a racehorse.
TOUCH FLAT: Rider Robbie Hannam told stewards he thought Platinum Touch was feeling the effects of her debut run and felt flat after beating only two home at Trentham.
LOST DREAMS: Dreams Of Platinum has been sold to Australia. The four-year-old mare won one race and placed seven times in 21 starts, earning nearly $35,000.