Rapper set to take on big sis’ at Wanganui next week after winning sweet bonus at Trentham
In-form filly Platinum Rapper could take on her older sister Platinum Command in Saturday’s $50,000 Challenge Stakes at Wanganui.
The Lisa Latta-trained filly earned another crack at black type with a very stout win at Trentham yesterday, staving off a late charge by Torre Del Greco to win by a long head and bag a $20,000 NZB Pearl bonus.
But co-owner Neville McAlister says the tilt will go ahead only if it rains on Friday, as predicted, to loosen the going.
“It was a really tough slog yesterday - a number of horses were putting up the white flag because it was so holding.
“She’s better when it’s loose on the day and if there’s no rain she won’t go.’’
McAlister says the filly needs her preferred footing because the race is run at weight-for-age, meaning she will have to carry 55.5kg and will be much closer to her better performed rivals than in a handicap.
“But traditionally it’s only been an eight or nine horse field and while she’s in good form we might as well have a go. Even if you run second or third it’s a black type placing which makes them more valuable to sell as a broodmare.’’
Incredibly, Platinum Rapper’s career to date - she has won three times from 10 starts - almost mirrors that of her seven-year-old half sister Platinum Command who is also down to run at Wanganui.
McAlister brought the mare back into work when she failed to conceive to Ocean Park last year and her first-up run in the Rotorua Stakes earlier this month was enormous, he says, denied gaps before flying home to be only 3.5 lengths from the winner Sleeping Beauty.
Platinum Rapper has a way to go before she wins a Winter Cup like Platinum Command did last year and McAlister says she still has a fair bit of learning to do.
Yesterday was the first time the filly had drawn a decent alley - in her two recent stakes races at Riccarton she drew wide and had to go back and around the field.
From four at Trentham she was able to race handier, sixth on the fence, but her inexperience in the field showed on the corner when in heavy traffic.
“She’s a bit field shy, she’s never been in amongst them before, and that’s why she looked flat. One ran in front of her and she tried to back away from it.’’
But when rider Johnathan Parkes pierced through a gap, Platinum Rapper really put in and, while looking likely to be devoured several times in the run home, she kept finding more.
“She’s looking for a mile now,’’ says McAlister, so the Wanganui race, run at 1590 metres, suits well.
McAlister and his partner in the filly, Lincoln Farms, won’t know until later in the week whether Parkes can ride Platinum Rapper.
But if Parkes’ North Island Challenge Stakes winner Comeback doesn’t go to Wanganui, he’ll stay with the filly.
“He’ll have to waste pretty hard to make the 55.5kg but he’ll get there.’’
With the Pearl bonus, Platinum Rapper earned $35,625 yesterday, the equivalent of winning a $60,000 race.
Her earnings already stand at $66,625, making her look somewhat of a bargain as she cost only $55,000 at the Select yearling sale at Karaka in 2017.
Platinum Rapper comes from a family of Group I winners, her third dam Danelagh left Hong Kong Horse of the Year Vengeance Of Rain and an Australian Oaks winner in Dizelle.
“The Group I winners are all by Zabeel and that’s why we sent Platinum Command to Ocean Park. We’re going to Tarzino next time as he’s out of a Zabeel mare.’’
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Our runners this week
Saturday at Hastings
Master Lincoln, Lincoln Town, Port Lincoln, Father Lenihan, Lincoln Hills, Almo Street, Lincoln Star.
Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them
Thursday at Waverley
Race 1: Platinum Bordeaux
“I have put Charlotte O’Beirne back on her as she went so well for her at Awapuni two runs back. She had 10 days in the paddock after the Castletown which was run on a very heavy track. She is very bright and well and worked very well this morning. The wide draw is not ideal but the better track at Waverley will suit.’’
Race 3: Platinum Volos
“He has a wide draw to overcome but will move in to barrier 13 with the ballots coming out. He has good gate speed and the better track will play into his hands. Hopefully he will behave himself in the gates and based on his jumpouts and trials this shouldn’t be an issue. His work has been very good and I expect him to be right in the finish.’’
Race 4: Lincoln Dreamer
“He has had a stone bruise this morning but I hope to get him there if he gets the two more scratchings he needs to regain the field. If not, there is a race for him at Awapuni next Saturday. His work has been good since the wet tracks arrived and he has trialled well so I am expecting an improved run.’’