Lisa Latta has a final opportunity to turn the stable’s Queensland winter carnival fortunes around when proven stayer Platinum Invador runs at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The Awapuni trainer’s hopes will rest with the well-performed son of Redwood, who will end his campaign in the Gr.2 Brisbane Cup (3200m).
It will be the last roll of the dice in Queensland for Latta, with Platinum Invador’s stablemate Nod Of The Head to return home after failing to run up to expectations in three appearances.
Multiple stakes winner Platinum Invador finished out of the money in the Gr.3 Premier’s Cup (2400m), but has progressed well since and a step up in distance will be in his favour.
“He’s definitely trained on well and it’s good to have Ryan (Elliot) on him, he knows him very well so that’s a bonus,” Latta said.
Elliot partnered the seven-year-old to victory in the Gr.2 Auckland Cup (3200m), in which he accounted for Eagle Farm race rival Nerve Not Nerve, at Pukekohe Park in the autumn.
He was also aboard when they finished fourth in the Gr.3 Canterbury Gold Cup (2000m) at Riccarton and the gelding’s final domestic appearance before departing for Australia.
While Latta is pleased with Platinum Invador’s current condition, they were dealt a blow with the outside barrier.
“He’s improved but it is disappointing he has drawn out (16),” she said.
“He does go back which makes it hard as they don’t tend to run along as truly as they do here. He will just have to get going a bit earlier.
“This will be it for the horse and he’ll have a break after Saturday.”
Platinum Invador’s travelling companion Nod Of The Head had finished fifth at Doomben in his Australian debut before an unplaced run at Eagle Farm and was again disappointing on his return to Doomben on Wednesday.
“He went terrible so he will be on his way home as well,” Latta said.
On the home front, she will be well-represented at Awapuni’s Saturday meeting with Old Town Road, Benefactor and Prioress among her leading prospects.
Old Town Road will take his place in the Cartown Handicap (1100m) with Jonathan Riddell to partner the in-form son of El Roca.
He was a winner on his home track two runs back before he finished runner-up over 1340m at Wanganui.
“He’s going good, honest races and he does go well at Awapuni and just back in distance I think will really suit him,” Latta said.
Contributer filly Benefactor broke her maiden at Hastings at her most recent appearance and will benefit from Lily Sutherland’s 2kg claim in the intowin.co.nz Syndication Handicap (1550m).
“Benefactor has trained on really well and Prioress is always thereabouts and still gets in with a good weight,” Latta said.
Prioress capped off a run of six consecutive minor placings when she won the Autumn Series Final (1200m) at Trentham toward the end of last month and stays in the same Rating 75 grade.
The daughter of Proisir carried 54kg at Trentham and will rise to 55.5kg in Saturday’s Manawatu ITM Door Department Handicap (1300m) with Madan Singh to continue his association with the four-year-old.