Race Images - Gallops

Platinum Road (Tim Johnson) pictured before his latest jumpout at Levin.

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.

Platinum Road has a bit of class about him. PHOTO: Royden Williams.Platinum Road has a bit of class about him. PHOTO: Royden Williams.“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.

Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Lisa Latta

Lisa’s comments

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.”