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Torrential rain in Otaki sets up Platinum Rapper for big Thursday gig

Downpours in Otaki this morning have rocketed Platinum Rapper to the top of the charts for Otaki on Thursday.

At least 29ml of rain is forecasted for today, with more expected on Thursday morning, which will provide a perfect platform for Platinum Rapper to excel.

And that will give the mare the edge over stablemate Lincoln Raider, despite his unlucky last start fourth on the course, as three of her four wins have been in heavy ground.

Platinum Rapper looked a next-up winner three weeks ago when she ran a close third to Skarloey, a rival again on Thursday, challenging for the lead 200 metres out.

And while she was beaten three-quarters of a length and a nose, it was more the Rapper of old, ending an inexplicable run of outs through August and September.

Trainer Lisa Latta says she can’t pinpoint a reason for the mare’s loss of form but the way she galloped with classy stablemate Sir Nate at Awapuni on Tuesday showed she was back to her best.

While their 52.8 and 38.1 sectionals weren’t the fastest of the morning, Latta says it was the easy way she did it that impressed.

“She galloped huge. She’s run some of her best races at Otaki and gets in at a nice weight of 58kg with Sam O’Malley’s claim. I’m expecting a very bold run.”

A bad squeeze in the run home cost Lincoln Raider a win last start, according to rider Jonathan Riddell. PHOTO: Peter Rubery/Race Images.A bad squeeze in the run home cost Lincoln Raider a win last start, according to rider Jonathan Riddell. PHOTO: Peter Rubery/Race Images.Lincoln Raider was only a short neck behind Platinum Raider last time but, crucially, was badly held up in the run home when squeezed out of a gap.

“Jonathan (Riddell) thought he would have won,” Latta said.

Only one of Lincoln Raider’s four wins have been in slow conditions, which diminish his trademark late surges, so the big track downgrade expected on Thursday won’t help him.

“But I’m keen to run him because the softer ground doesn’t knock his knees around.

“He has continued to train on well and I still expect him to be in the finish with a clear run.”

Latta believes the best could be seen of Lincoln Raider through December and January.

“There are some nice options coming up for him in the next couple of months over 1600 metres at Trentham and Awapuni.”

Latta is expecting Platinum Bordeaux to go a lot better in the fifth race than her 4357 form line suggests.

The Per Incanto mare will be having her first race for 13 months but Latta says she is much stronger this time as a four-year-old.

Platinum Bordeaux’s only two placings in nine starts were on heavy ground so Thursday’s conditions won’t faze her.

And Latta was pleased with the way the mare trialled in slow 8 ground at Foxton on October 29 when fifth, but not asked to extend.

Latta has engaged talented apprentice Hazel Schofer to ride the mare and says her riding style suits back runners.

“Platinum Bordeaux’s best runs have been when she’s gone back and finished it off so her 15 draw isn’t too much of a concern. I expect her to be doing her best work at the finish.”

Lincoln Fury was still on the ballot for the ninth race today and Latta says, even if he makes the field, she may not start him if the track turns heavy.

Lincoln Fury has won in slow 9 ground at Otaki but Latta believes it could be too big an ask second-up in heavy conditions.

Our runners this week: How our trainer rates them

Saturday at Trentham

Race 2: Lincoln Hills

“He has freshened up really nicely and hopefully we get the fire out of the ground which he really likes. His work has been really good and, while there are a few nice horses against him, we know he performs fresh-up. Sam O’Malley will claim 3kg down to 58kg.”

Race 6: Father Lenihan

“This is a big drop back in class for him and Temyia Taiaroa’s 3kg claim will bring him down to 58.5kg which I think will be a competitive weight for him. The key to him is having a nice draw and being able to sit just in behind the speed. His work has been very good and hopefully with rain about, the track comes up dead.”

Race 7: Platinum Spirit

“Ryan (Elliot) didn’t have any luck on him at all last week - he elected to go in and the gaps all closed up. He’s thrived since and all the rain has really sparked him up. He looks fantastic and I couldn’t be happier with him. Jonathan Riddell will ride and on his run last week you would expect him to be very hard to beat.”