Speedy Princess Amelie up against it at Ellerslie from outside draw
Drawing barrier 10 of 10 came as a cruel blow to trainer Lisa Latta and Princess Amelie.
Latta has targeted Saturday’s $70,000 Group III Mongolian Khan Trophy at Ellerslie for months, because it is one of the few opportunities for three-year-old sprinters to get black type.
And Latta knows how important it is to dress up the pedigree page of the Snitzel filly who cost Lincoln Farms’ owner John Street $300,000 as a yearling.
But in a quality line-up where there’s a ton of speed inside her, Latta now fears the talented filly might get trapped wide in the running, which would spell curtains for her.
“She has very good gate speed so we’ve got to try to go forward,’’ says Latta. “She’ll get nothing going back and we’ve hardly ever ridden her back.’’
Latta planned for Princess Amelie to dispute the pace on her first, exploratory visit to Ellerslie on Boxing Day when she ran out of her skin for third behind Pretty To Sea and Meteoric Lass on a heavy 10 track.
But instead rider Johnathan Parkes had to go to plan B when the filly began awkwardly.
“She was a bit agitated and lunged at the gates a couple of times and when they did open she propped, instead of jumping,’’ says Parkes.
That saw Princess Amelie back and forced to cover a lot of extra ground as Parkes went forward three wide, with no cover, to sit fifth.
It was a game effort that saw her keep kicking in the run home to finish only three lengths from the winner.
Princess Amelie beat More Wonder in her previous start, running 1:09.45 at Trentham, and claims another win two starts earlier over race rival King Louis.
Latta is in no doubt her filly has the ability to run first four - with a trip - “but I’m just worried about the way the race will be run with all that speed.
“She’s been working very well but she’ll need everything to go her way now.’’
More news in Gallops
Platinum Appeal shows she’s a gate flyer at Levin jumpouts where winter team shape up
She’s certainly no Paddy but Authentic Charm deserves her turn on Thursday
#GoLincolnFury - you can get our hearts racing before the curtain comes down on Winx
Riddell can turn around Lincoln King’s Shocking luck at Rotorua on Friday
Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them
Thursday at Woodville
Race 3: Authentic Charm
“She has drawn perfectly in barrier seven so Robbie (Hannam) should be able to possie up just behind the pace, which is an advantage at Woodville. Her work has been very good since her last run and she should strike the perfect track for her, a dead 5. This is a very even line-up and she should be right in the finish.’’
News in brief
TOP TIP: Trainer Lisa Latta was right on the money about $35 starter Lincoln Hills who ran a terrific fourth in very strong company at Awapuni. “He would have run even closer had he not pulled himself into the ground,” Latta said. Follow him on April 25.
INVADOR HOME: Platinum Invador is back in the country and will go straight to the spelling paddock after failing in the A$2million Australian Derby. Trainer Lisa Latta says in hindsight the three runs in two weeks he had on his NZ Derby camapign left him a tired horse.