Platinum Stride looks good thing in four-horse Young Guns heat at Auckland on Friday night
In a four-horse field, the odds will be microscopic but it’s impossible to see Platinum Stride beaten at Auckland on Friday night.
It took the hugely talented southerner Krug to lower Platinum Stride’s colours in the second Young Guns heat on New Year’s Eve and there’s nothing in the field remotely approaching his calibre this time.
In fact, you could make a strong case for Lincoln Farms trainer Ray Green and Sydney owner Emilio Rosati to produce the quinella with the high priced debutant Vanquish Stride.
The only two horses opposing Green’s pair have not shown they are up to beating Platinum Stride - Graeme Rogerson’s $140,000 colt Challenger a well beaten fourth behind Lincoln Farms’ Man Of Action in slow time at Cambridge and the unraced Luke John’s best a third in a Pukekohe trial in December.
Platinum Stride, on the other hand, showed he had natural speed from the outset, the Captaintreacherous colt best of the northerners in the first Young Guns heat behind It’s All About Faith, Krug and First Class when he ran a 1:57.2 mile.
Platinum Stride improved again last time when he paced the best sectionals in the race, covering his last mile in 2:00.2, half in 56.2 and quarter in 27.1.
Driver Anthony Butt sat patiently in fourth possie on the markers before starting his run at the 550 metres, taking the race to Krug turning for home.
The colt never flinched in the run home, everything about his professional display indicating a win was close at hand.
‘’He hasn’t had a decent hitout for a while but he’s a nice little horse and you’d think he’s going to be red hot.”
Vanquish Stride may be very new, but Green says he keeps improving all the time.
“He’s very classy bred and you wouldn’t know what he could do.”
By champion stallion Bettor’s Delight, the colt is the first foal of former speedy mare Pemberton Shard and when named The Shard, cost $170,000 at the Christchurch yearling sale.
“He’s quite an interesting horse who is getting better with each run but he’s not as natural as the other bloke.”
In his latest trial at Pukekohe eight days ago, Vanquish Stride was travelling strongly alongside eventual winner Don’t Bother Me None close to home when he suddenly galloped violently.
“He saw something that he took exception to and jumped so we’ve put a shadow roll on him for Friday night. Young horses go through these little stages.”
Vanquish Stride ran a strongly closing second in his first trial, despite having trouble getting round the bends, driver Zachary Butcher having to rev up the lackadaisical colt.
Better draws will help
Lincoln Farms produces two runners in the fourth race both Classie Reactor and Man Of Action expected to perform better from good alleys.
Classic Reactor gave driver Andre Poutama a torrid time last week pulling ferociously most of the way outside the leader.
Poutama restrained hard on the five-year-old at the start and was unlucky to still be left posted without cover, eventually letting Classie Reactor pull his way up to the leader.
But he was out of petrol on the home turn and beat only one home, a near repeat of his previous race at Cambridge when he was driven hard early, got over-racing and led.
“He’s been beating himself in his last two starts,” says Green. “I don’t know why he’s getting so fired up but he’s got a decent draw to work with this time and you’d think he would either lead or trail.”
Green had been expecting good things from Classie Reactor after rectifying his unsoundness issues but he says owner Merv Butterworth is likely to export the horse to Australia if he performs under par again on Friday night.
Man Of Action will also benefit from drawing four after his wide gate cost him any chance last week.
Taken back on instructions from Green, Man Of Action never had a chance to get into the race with On A Roll running a devastating 2:39.4 in front.
With the race run at a 1:56.6 mile rate, it wasn’t surprising Man Of Action, a Cambridge winner in 1:59.1 at his previous start, struggled.
“He’s never been that fast in his life but the run wasn’t as bad as it seemed. None of them back in the field could get into it and he held his place so you can’t condemn him on that.
“He’s a runner’s chance but I’m not oozing in confidence.”
More news in Harness
Better draw will help Frisco but Ray’s quartet for Friday all in early stages of new prep
Argyle salutes at last and Mark confident he’ll keep the till ticking over in the next grade
Unlucky Argyle deserves to be rewarded at Albion Park tonight - just no bad luck please
Ray looking forward to Lincoln Lou and fully oxygenated Frisco Bay at Cambridge on Friday
Our runners this week
Saturday night at Albion Park
Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them
Friday night at Auckland
Race 2: Frisco Bay
“He obviously needed the run last week. He pulled his way round the field and sat outside the leader but he couldn’t cop a run like that first-up and got tired. The ability is there, whether he’s fit enough or not we’ll find out. But I expect him to go well, the three draw is much better than last week.”
Race 2: Lenny Lincoln
“He’ll probably need a race but he’s capable of running a slot. He’s unlucky not to have won a race, all three of his seconds were good. He’s got a bit better with each of his trials this time in and he got home well last Saturday, after coming widest on the turn.”
Race 3: Obadiah Dragon
“The way the race was run at Cambridge last week, his effort wasn’t bad at all. Moni (Monika Ranger) said he felt strong and, if he’d been a few slots closer, he would have been right in it. He’ll be improved for the run.”
Race 3: Leo Lincoln
“He’s very consistent - he’s only missed a couple of cheques. But he’s another just coming back and should improve with the run.”