Watch Platinum Volos as he’s very fit and seems to have conquered his fear of the gates
Don’t let the fact that bad boy Platinum Volos hasn’t raced for nearly eight months put you off backing him at Waverley on Thursday.
And the horse’s chequered history of not jumping from the gates is, touch wood, also behind him.
The only little reservation that trainer Lisa Latta has is that the 1200 metres of the third race might be a touch too short for him.
Apart from that it’s all systems go for the talented four-year-old who was put on an enforced stop last November after twice refusing to jump out of the barriers, at Wanganui and Awapuni.
Latta sent the horse for a long spell after pacifiers and a barrier blanket didn’t help him in the latest of those races on November 3.
And when Platinum Volos approaches the gates on Thursday, those two aids will be missing, substituted only for a blindfold, which has worked a treat this preparation.
In three jumpouts and a trial, he has behaved beautifully for Charlotte O’Beirne who is on board on Thursday, her 3kg claim reducing the horse’s handicap to 56kg.
“The gates don’t seem to be an issue any more and I’m definitely not worried about his not having raced for so long,’’ says Latta. “Because of all those trials he’s very fit.’’
When Platinum Volos trialled at Otaki on May 21, he jumped smartly and trailed the capable galloper Detentore to the turn before producing a sustained run to the line for second, finishing ahead of the near $1million earner Nashville.
And on June 12 at the Levin jumpouts, Platinum Volos again bounced well and sat outside the leader, fighting on well to be just two lengths behind the Group performer Sensible Princess, winner of the Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes.
The horse showed he had continued to thrive when, along with fellow former barrier rogue Also Street, he headlined trackwork at Awapuni on Tuesday morning.
Partnered over 800 metres on the heavy No. 1 grass, the pair ran an even 50 seconds, with their last 600 in 36.7, the best of the morning.
While Almo Street was slightly the better, Latta says she was still very pleased with the gallop and is hoping Platinum Volos can now show his real ability, the kind which saw him down Divine Power and Malambo in the Wellington Guineas Trial at three.
“We thought he might really be something then but he was a bit of a softie, and still is. But I’m confident he’ll go a good race on Thursday.
“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 (a slow 9) will play into his hands.’’
The one for him to beat looks to be the highly touted Allan Sharrock-trained filly Penelope Cruz who has also drawn wide.
Latta says Platinum Bordeaux has a task also from her nine gate in the opening race.
Latta says you can put a line through her last-start sixth in the Castletown Stakes at Wanganui when the track was simply too deep for her.
“She didn’t go too badly in the Castletown and had 10 days in the paddock after that. She is very bright and worked very well one Tuesday.
“She gets back in her races and will be doing her best work at the finish. It just depends on what the pattern of racing is. If they’re winning close to the rail and in front she’ll find it tough.
“I expect she’ll make a lovely three-year-old filly. She’s got a great attitude - nothing fazes her.’’
Lincoln Dreamer still needs two scratchings to get a start in the fourth race.
“He’s working and trialling better but he might need a mile before he shows his best.’’
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Thursday at Hastings
Race 6: Lincoln Town
“He’s drawn the outside but with the rail out 10 metres they’re only starting twelve horses and he has the gate speed to go forward so this will negate the draw. He worked nicely this morning and has continued to hold his condition well. I expect him to be right in the finish.”
Race 8: Ajay Lincoln
“He has a nice draw and the step-up to 1650 metres will suit. The track has come up a slow 8 and hopefully it will stay in that range as he will appreciate that better than the heavy ground he struck at Awapuni. He is finally starting to do things right and seems a lot more switched on. I’m expecting a better run from him.”
Saturday at New Plymouth
Race 1: Manhattan Street
“There’s a lot of rain in the forecast so the track should be very wet and loose track which is what he wants. We’re trying to get some miles into him so we can eventually run him in a hurdle. There are a couple of smart types in the race in My Gift and Obsessive but I’m expecting a better run from him.”
Race 6: Platinum Rapper
“She needed the run at Awapuni last time and her work has been very good since. We decided on going for the cup as she gets in on the minimum and it’s another chance to get black type with her. When she met Rosewood at weight-for-age at Wanganui there was a 1.5kg difference but she gets 5.5kg this time. We know from the Wanganui run that she is up to this company and, while this field is slightly stronger, I feel she can be right in the finish. The track conditions will suit her.”