Gallops - News

Latta pleased with Group One performers

  • Tue, 07 Aug 2018
  • NZ Racing Desk
Zabeel Classic winner Authentic Paddy warmed up for the Foxbridge Plate with a trial win last week.

Zabeel Classic winner Authentic Paddy warmed up for the Foxbridge Plate with a trial win last week.

In addition to the thrill of a third Gr. 3 Winter Cup win at Riccarton, Lisa Latta is pleased with her ammunition for the upcoming spring features.

Three days before Platinum Command broke through for her biggest win in the twilight of her racing career, the Awapuni trainer unleashed her Group One performers Authentic Paddy and Five To Midnight at the Foxton trials and was thrilled with their efforts.

Authentic Paddy, winner of last season’s Gr. 1 Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie, had enjoyed a spell since finishing unplaced in the Gr. 3 Canterbury Gold Cup in April and showed he was on target for another successful campaign when he won an open 1000-metre heat in the hands of apprentice Tim Johnson.

“He went really well,” Latta said. “He’s pretty forward and he usually trials well. He’ll be ready for the Foxbridge Plate.”

As well as starting in the $100,000 Gr. 2 Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate at Te Rapa on August 18, the Howbaddouwantit nine-year-old will also be on hand for the first Group One event of the season, the $200,000 Tarzino Trophy at Hastings on September 1.

“He’s nominated for all three big ones at Hastings,” Latta said. “Last year he missed the middle one (Gr. 1 Windsor Park Stud Plate) and went for a softer option. We may do the same again. We’ll just see how he comes up.”

Latta was also thrilled with Five To Midnight’s Foxton trials effort when finishing fourth behind Sensible Princess over 1000 metres. Ridden by Johnathan Parkes, the Domesday six-year-old was doing his best work at the finish.

“That was probably the best trial he has gone,” Latta said. “He travelled up nicely behind them. He’s much stronger and I’m really happy with him.

“He’ll go back to the Foxton trials on the 21st (August). If he trials up well again, he will run in the open 1600 on the first day at Hastings.”

Five To Midnight was put aside after his unsuccessful hit-and-run mission on the Gr. 1 Sydney Cup in April. 

He won the Gr. 3 Waikato Cup at Te Rapa last December and the Listed Hawke’s Bay Gold Cup the previous season, but he is best-known for his frustrating run of minor placings in features. 

Last season he was runner-up when beaten a nose by Ladies First in the Gr. 1 Auckland Cup and also second in the Gr. 2 City Of Auckland Cup, the Gr. 3 Counties Cup and the Gr. 2 Awapuni Gold Cup and third in the Gr. 2 Avondale Cup.

“It would be great to see him turn some of those placings into wins. He deserves to win a big one,” Latta said.