Latta armed for Riccarton invasion

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  • April 21, 2023
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It’s like comparing chalk and cheese but Manawatu trainer Lisa Latta is hoping Platinum Invador can emulate her former Gr.3 Canterbury Gold Cup (2000m) winner Authentic Paddy in Saturday’s Coca-Cola-sponsored weight-for-age feature at Riccarton.

Authentic Paddy was a big, imposing frontrunner who dominated his rivals from the outset to score a narrow but deserved win in the 2016 event on his way to winning a Gr.1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) before his retirement.

Seven-year-old Redwood gelding Platinum Invador comes in a little lighter on the scales and he’s more likely to be swamping his rivals with a sweeping late run if he can secure victory this weekend.

“It was a pretty good track the day Authentic Paddy won and he was just too good. He just put himself on speed and he’d take luck out of the equation,” Latta said.

“Platinum Invador is nothing like him. He could get pretty fired up in the early days but not now. He’s pretty widely travelled now and he’s an easy horse to work with. I’d expect him to be right in it. We wouldn’t have gone down there unless we thought that.”

A winner of five of his 40 starts, including last month’s Gr.2 Auckland Cup (3200m) at Pukekohe, Platinum Invador travelled to Christchurch on Tuesday and has been stabled with Riccarton trainer Andrew Carston.

“He’s travelled well and settled in well,” Latta said.

Latta was thrilled with his run for fourth back to 2000m in the Awapuni Gold Cup earlier this month and said he had thrived since.

“It was a really good run. He found the line nicely. The blinkers have definitely sharpened him up a bit,” she said.

“The rain came at the wrong time and it doesn’t look like we’re going to get much better conditions on Saturday either, so that is a bit of a concern, though he’s probably drawn in the right place (in barrier 11).

“I’m really happy with his work since too. There’s not a lot more for him here at this time of the year so we thought we’d have a go. It’s a good race for him and if he goes well enough, we’ll look at taking him to Brisbane.”

A veteran of three previous trips to Australia, Platinum Invador is set for another trip across the Tasman next month, Latta earmarking the Gr.2 Brisbane Cup (3200m) at Eagle Farm on June 10 as his chief target.

“He’s booked to fly over at the start of May. He’ll come home after this weekend first and then we’ll get him over there,” Latta said, adding that stablemate Nod Of The Head was likely to join Platinum Invador as a travelling companion with less ambitious targets.

Meanwhile, Latta has warned her team for Sunday’s Awapuni meeting might not be as strong as first planned.

Latta has Media Miss, Lurid, Raccourci, Chikira Lass, Prioress and Unscripted slated to race but said a rain-affected track could decimate her hand which is led by Proisir mare Chikira Lass in the Listed Manawatu ITM Anzac Mile (1600m).

“It’s going to be hard to know,” she said. “We got a hell of a lot of rain overnight and there’s more forecast on Saturday so I don’t know what I’ll be running. It might not be a lot. Chikira Lass has handled it wet in the past but it is a step up in grade for her, for sure.”

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