Rain at Riccarton on Saturday would boost the chances of the recalcitrant Platinum Volos
Trainer Lisa Latta is hoping the forecasted rain arrives in time tomorrow to loosen the Riccarton track for Platinum Volos.
If it does, and the recalcitrant five-year-old consents to go into the gates, Latta believes he will be Lincoln Farms’ best chance on the day.
Platinum Volos ($23) in the second race and Father Lenihan ($15) in the fifth race could be the only runners, with Lincoln Hills definitely to be withdrawn after being all at sea in the going on Wednesday and Manhattan Street ($41) without a suitable rider at this stage for the opening hurdles.
Rain is predicted to hit the third day of the National meeting but with the worst likely in the afternoon, it could come too late for Platinum Volos who runs at mid-day.
“More rain would definitely suit him as we know he likes it that way and though he ran only seventh on Wednesday I thought it was a good enough run.”
Platinum Volos was up to his old tricks on Wednesday and came within seconds of being ordered out when he refused to go into the gates, several minutes elapsing before he was finally pushed in by the barrier crew.
And when he did jump, he actually did it too well, robbing rider Charlotte O’Beirne of the opportunity to come out into better ground.
Her repeated attempts to angle out were rebuffed but he still fought bravely, only 3.5 lengths from the winner Turncoat, clocking a similar closing 600 to the six horses who beat him home.
“We might have ridden him a touch too handy,” says Latta. “We’ll try to ride him quieter this time and come down the outside.
“I think he’s the best chance as he’ll handle the track better than Father Lenihan.”
Father Lenihan gets in off the ballot in the fifth race, dropping from Wednesday’s rating 82 to a rating 72.
And his 60kg handicap will be reduced to 56kg with Wednesday’s hero on Platinum Rapper, Kozzi Asano, taking the mount.
Latta was pleased to see the horse race somewhere near his best on the middle day, leading out then trailing and capitulating only late to be 4.5 lengths behind winner Monza Circuito.
“It wasn’t a bad run and I think he’ll improve a lot for it. Robbie thought backing him up would do him good but I just worry about the rain.”
Latta is still trying to find a rider for Manhattan Street in the first race, especially now so that he might get rain to loosen the track.
“He doesn’t like it sticky, like it was on Wednesday, he wants it loose.”
Though only seventh, Manhattan Street jumped well in his first look at Riccarton, if a little high.
“I think he’s going to make a better steeplechaser but if I can get a rider he will start.
“We were always going to lose Shaun (Fannin) to Sir Ritchie, who’s trained by Dummy Myers.”
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Saturday at New Plymouth
Race 7: Platinum Volos
“It’s not an ideal race for him and I’m a bit worried about the 1400 metres. We’ll have to ride him back last and look for runs through them to give him the chance to see the distance out.”
Saturday at Kilcoy
Race 5: Lincoln’s Command
4.59pm NZ time
“He looks fantastic and his work has been good. Kilcoy is a very tight track and you need to be up front so we’ll be going foreward even from the wide draw. We rode him back last time and it didn’t work as he’s too one-paced.”