Platinum Invador Returns to Ellerslie
Redwood gelding Platinum Invador returns to Ellerslie tomorrow to tackle the $100,000 Group 2 Joe McDonald Avondale Cup over 2400m in what is likely to be his last start before the $500,000 Group 1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup on 7 March.
Platinum Invador will be having his fourth start at Ellerslie with his previous three starts on the track all full of merit, including a luckless run in the Avondale Guineas twelve months ago, a huge effort to come from last to third in the 2018 Vodafone NZ Derby Gr.1, and his most recent start at headquarters resulting in a comprehensive win in the $200,000 Skycity City of Auckland Cup Gr.3 over 2400m.
Platinum Invador has a significant increase in weight since his City of Auckland win where he carried 55.5kg, and will be asked to carry 59kg tomorrow, an increase of 3.5kg. The distance will be right up his alley and the fact he drops to 56kg in the Auckland Cup would suggest his connections only need to see him running home strongly on Saturday to be spot on for his grand final in three weeks.
Redwood has a host of talented horses running of late with Rock on Wood unlucky in his past two starts at Group 1 level, Reggiewood a serious Derby prospect, Communique running in tomorrow’s Avondale Guineas, Salt Bay, Bet Red, Laundy, and Red Heeler who runs at Flemington tomorrow.
Red Heeler will contest the A$125,000 Furphy Ale Handicap over 1600m after a short freshen up. The Mick Kent trained mare has won three of her six career starts with her last three starts (all at Flemington) resulting in a first, second, and a third. Out of the Encosta de Lago mare Cattledog, Red Heeler looks well placed in tomorrow’s race and has found a real affinity with the roomy expanses of the Flemington track.
Another Redwood tackling black type company tomorrow is the former NZ Derby placegetter Rising Red heading to Morphettville for the Listed A$100,000 Birthday Handicap over 2043m. Rising Red has been plagued by a string of injuries during his career and will carry the topweight of 60kg with Dylan Dunn taking the mount.