Redwood’s roll continued at Pukekohe where his son Platinum Invador showcased his depths of stamina with victory in the Group 2 Auckland Cup.
The Westbury Stud stallion’s star representative is Sharp ‘N’ Smart with the Gerry Harvey-bred three-year-old an outstanding winner of the Group 1 New Zealand Derby off the back of his success in the G1 Herbie Dye Stakes.
Platinum Invador has now further added to Redwood’s honours board with the stud-raised and sold gelding producing a stout display to crown his return from serious injury for trainer Lisa Latta and owners John Street and Neville McAlister.
“This is absolutely fantastic as I’ve tried a few times to win this race and we’ve run a few placings,” Latta said.
“It’s a race I’ve always wanted to win and I’m just thrilled for John and Lyn and Neville as they have been such loyal supporters of mine.
“He’s been a very easy horse, although he did a tendon in Brisbane and we had to give him 12 months off.
“When they have an injury like that you can be a little too cautious at times and we talked about it and I knew I had to pack the work into him to get him to the Cup.
“He coped with the work really well and he has been swimming and doing everything like a normal horse.”
Jockey Ryan Elliot has been central to Redwood’s recent successes as the regular partner of Sharp ‘N’ Smart.
“A lot of dedication has gone into this season to get my weight down and to be able to get on these better horses at the light weights is paying off,” he said.
“I worked Platinum Invador the other week and he felt like his old self and I’m just so thrilled to get an Auckland Cup for everyone involved with this horse.
“He jumped away better today and landed in a nice spot and I got the drag up behind the favourite (Aquacade). When he let down, he just roared home.”
Bred by Chris Stewart, Platinum Invador was purchased by Latta for $25,000 from Westbury’s draft at New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2017 Festival Yearling Sale at Karaka
He has rarely been far from the action in feature staying events with his previous best effort a winning run in the Group 3 City Of Auckland Cup.
Placed in the G1 New Zealand Derby, he had also finished third and fourth in past runnings of the Auckland Cup when it carried Group 1 status.
At The Double
Astron completed a Redwood double at Pukekohe when he came from the back with an irresistible finish to beat the Rating 65 metric milers with ease.
Bred by co-owner Tony Cole and trained by his son Cody, the four-year-old has now won twice from six starts and the promise of more to come.
Astron had to cover extra ground back in the field from a wide alley before he picked up ground and showed sharp acceleration in the run home to win going away.
“We had a sticky draw and were three wide with cover, but he’s got a wicked turn of foot,” successful rider Craig Grylls said.