Platinum Command (Ryan Elliot) charges to a significant victory in the Winter Cup.
It was third time lucky in the Gr. 3 Winning Edge Presentations Winter Cup at Riccarton today for Platinum Command, who collected a valuable black-type win during the last week of her racing career.
The Red Giant mare had won nine of her 56 starts before today’s time-honoured winter showpiece, earning more than $245,000 in prize-money.
But stakes success had eluded her, with her best black-type results being a second to Miss Three Stars in the Winter Cup in 2016, a second to Gypsy Fair in the Gr. 3 Merial Metric Mile the same year, and a fast-finishing fourth in the Winter Cup 12 months ago.
With the broodmare barn beckoning, today the seven-year-old finally broke through.
Ridden by talented apprentice Ryan Elliot, Platinum Command sat in eighth place among a capacity field of 18 as The Gordonian set the early pace.
As Taurus went up to take the lead at the top of the straight, Elliot angled Platinum Command out to the centre of the track and turned her loose. She bounded home with an explosive finishing burst, scoring by a length in a $13.40 upset.
She delivered a third Winter Cup win for Awapuni trainer Lisa Latta, following Tuscany Warrior in 2003 and Mikki Street three years later.
“A lot of the favourites probably wanted a wetter track, and she’s gone well on tracks like this (Slow9) in the past,” Latta said.
“Neville McAlister and Lincoln Farms raced her together for most of her career, but Neville wants to breed from her and John Street (Lincoln Farms) isn’t really into the breeding. So she’s had a bit of a change of ownership recently with Ashburn Lane joining Neville – this is a great result for them.
“She’ll run again on the last day of the carnival next Saturday, but this is the last week of her racing career.”
Bought for $40,000 at the 2013 Festival Sale at Karaka, Platinum Command has now taken her prize-money earnings past $300,000.
“She’s been an outstanding mare over the years, and this is great for her ahead of her breeding career,” Elliot said.
“Lisa told me to just get her relaxed and that she would really let down. I had handfuls of her in the straight, and as soon as I let her go she really exploded.”
In an all-central-districts finish, She’s Poppy was second and Dez third.
The Raymond Connors-trained She’s Poppy won the Rangitikei Gold Cup two starts back, and her last start was a second placing in the Listed Ag Challenge Stakes on June 2.
Dez, trained and part-owned by Waipukurau-based Simon Wilson, was having just the ninth start of his career. He has won four and placed in another three.
Shakti and Who Dares Wins were the best of the South Islanders in fourth and fifth, with the latter running home strongly from last.