Trainer Neville Parnham is prepared to forgive Platoon’s flat performance in the Magic Millions Trophy at Pinjarra earlier this month and expects a bold showing in the Listed Lex Piper Stakes (1600m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Platoon failed to beat a runner home in the Magic Millions first-up, but Parnham has urged punters to give the gelding another chance up to a more suitable trip.
“That was far too short for him,” Parnham told The Races WA.
“He just didn’t get into the race.
“When he started to get into the race there were a couple of tired ones coming back on to him.
“I’d put a line straight through that.”
Despite winning only one of his 12 starts, Platoon has shown he’s more than capable of competing in blacktype races, highlighted by a third placing in the WA Sires Produce Stakes last year.
The son of Playing God performed credibly in the Group 2 WA Guineas behind Arcadia Queen in the spring and produced an eye-catching fifth in the Guineas lead up; the Fairetha Stakes.
Parnham said he hoped to stretch Platoon to the 2400m of the WA Derby later in the autumn, but was confident he could record a victory on the road to the Group 2 on April 13.
“We’re towards a Derby campaign, so hopefully he can get over a bit of ground,” he said.
“He’s worked really well this week.
“He had a really solid gallop last Saturday morning and followed it up with a good gallop (yesterday) morning.
“If you went on his work, you’d think he’d be a real live chance.
“I know my horse has the ability, it’s just a matter of getting it out of him.”
Regal Power has been installed a $2.45 favourite with TABtouch for the Listed event, following the news leading jockey William Pike would take the ride.
Chris Parnham picks up the ride on Challenge Stakes winner Creative Hero, who has been installed a $4 chance.
Platoon was installed a $10 chance, with Steven Parnham to take the ride once more.
Meanwhile, Lady Sass has emerged as a WA Oaks contender, following her win in the Yellowglen Handicap (1500m) yesterday.
Trainer Dan Morton said the filly had the potential to
“She’s always seemed above average,” Morton told The Races WA.
“It’s just her manners have been a little bit difficult at times.
“Once she learns her craft a bit more, I think she’s going to be handy.
“We’ve entered for the Oaks later on, but there’s a fair bit of water under the bridge between now and then.”