The story so far….
New video created 2nd November….
You may not see him reappear until 2015, due to an injury sustained mid race at Newmarket, but all being well, Platinum will be back….
We thought you might like to read about one of our stable stars ‘Platinum’ and being my own horse, I just like to write about him!!
When Platinum appeared in the entries for the DBS sales last October we were both keen to see if we could buy him. Thankfully he was Lot 1 on the 2nd day and no one else took much notice of this former high class French 3 year old, the hammer coming down to Phil at just £2000. Not a bad price for the good looking 5 year old who had won on his 3rd start over hurdles impressively, albeit in a claimer. He looked badly handicapped on the flat (off 92) but Phil thought he had plenty more scope to win over hurdles, and we imagined this would be his main job in 2013.
Platinum was bred to win a Derby – he is by ‘Azamour’ and his dam ‘Dazzling Park’ is a half sister to the outstanding racehorse & sire ‘New Approach’ . He cost Sheik Mohammed £400,000 as a yearling and he was sent to Andre Fabre with some good results in 3 year old events. Trainer Rebecca Curtis secured him for £20,000 after he left France, although he was sold from her yard privately after his hurdle win before turning up at DBS last year. Another expensive purchase, his half sister, ‘Manayer’ made £1,100,000 guineas as a yearling – and she never ran! She has also bred just 3 moderate handicappers to date. Scary stuff.
Not sure what to give me for Christmas, Phil thought Platinum would make me a perfect present..and I agreed. I registered myself as an owner for the first time and had fun choosing my colours.
From the start he reminded us so much of our stable star. Amazing King – he had become injured last summer and it looked as though he would have to be retired.. we never expected Platinum to be such a good replacement!
We brought Platinum back into work on January 1st and he left for Middleham after doing roadwork at Dibble Bridge. British team Event rider Beth Stevenson rode him out a fair bit, and even though he was pretty naughty and used to buck a lot, she liked him a lot and thought he would make a super Eventer!
It took a while for him to show his old form, Phil didn’t say he was anything out of the ordinary to begin with and he could work lazily at home. Phil ran him in a couple of Wolverhampton claimers where he looked to be outpaced before staying on. After a close up run in a claimer (beaten 5th of 8, just 5 lengths and sent off 66-1) a few nervous minutes ensued when we hoped he wasn’t leaving us – although I did make Phil put in a freindly claim! That was that for the claiming races and now 23lbs better off than the start of the year, it was time for him to resume a career on the turf and be upped in trip as it looked as though at now 6 years old, he needed more of a test.
This photo shows Platinum in the paddock for a 1m 6f mile race at Catterick on 10th April…he was due to be ridden by Russ but he was stuck in traffic and Gary Whillans claiming 5lb took over at the last minute- an able deputy. Luckily for Russ, Gary did not win on him; he ran well but went down in a photo at 12-1 – and next time out on the flat, Russ was back in the plate, winning at Musselburgh over 1m 6f – this was a race King had won for us and it was a special victory , signalling his return to being a decent horse again. The first place prize money was pretty exciting too!
We had however, dabbled with a couple of hurdle efforts in between these two runs – ridden by Harriet Bethell who had done all the schooling on him at home, Platinum ran very well for two 2nds, jumping a little novicey but filling the runner up spot off a mark of 120 at Newcastle and Perth, and there remains plenty of room for improvement on these runs with further hurdling experience and a step up to 2m 4f+
And so back to the flat….he had one rare reversal on the 14th June , when crowded round the ipad in a bar in Ibiza tuning into the paddy power app, the Kirby family watched with baited breath as he finished 5th of 7, beaten 10 lengths , never really firing,..no champagne that evening!
We could have been forgiven to think the bubble had burst, perhaps he had reached his level…but a gritty 2nd at Beverley when heat and a high weight probably took its toll (it was an exceptionally hot day) , he then took a short trip to Catterick on the 6th August and won by a cosy 1/2 length over 1m 6f. There were some subsequent winners behind him in this race (Party Line, Linguine), and the form swiftly began to looked rock solid.
Each time Platinum has ran this summer he has come back to Castleton and had a couple of days off in the paddock. This seems to keep him sweet and I am sure for a stayer like him it gives the body time to chill out and properly relax and recover from the exertions.
Watch his video in the paddock…
Seeming in great heart back at Middleham, he returned to Musselburgh and trounced a high class field of staying Northern handicappers, winning in impressive fashion by 4 lengths on the 21st of August – and justifying the entry Phil had made for him in the Cesarawitch a couple of days earlier.
We were now left with a nice problem to have, did we run him again before Newmarket? He seemed in such good form and would it be hard to keep him right for 7/8 weeks without a run when he was thriving on the work? Phil entered him for a 1m7f race at Chester and when declared he was made favourite, but a little niggle meant he was withdrawn from this and a week later he was fit and ready to take his chance in the £36,000k ‘Old Borough Cup’ at Haydock on September 7th – a return to 1m 6f and by far the best race he had contested so far. The Channel 4 pundits gave him a mention but it sounded as though Jim McGrath doubted he would have the necessary further improvement to win again and he was sent off at a generous 10-1. Needless to say, with that prize money on offer, we didn’t back him.
“A competitive and valuable handicap. They arrowed down the centre of the track in the home straight and the first six finished clear, among them the four who had been up there throughout.
PLATINUM was never too far from the leading group and found plenty to complete a hat-trick. Successful off 18lb lower at Musselburgh in May, he is another fine advert for Philip Kirby´s talents and was well ridden by Russ Kennemore. He´s likely to go for the Cesarewitch, for which he picks up a 4lb penalty,”
If you haven’t had a chance to see the closing stages, here are some clips to watch:
The target was now firmly The Cesarawitch and he is hovering round the 16-1 mark with most firms. He doesn’t know what price he is: but he does seem to have come out of the Haydock race really well, and after a full week at Castleton he was raring to go back up the gallops last Monday.
The Old Borough Cup – wow! (we were not allowed to take this home though…)
There have been a number of articles written about him and Philip, and the high profile win has resulted in a full page Racing Post interview …its the big Saturday races that certainly raise the profile of the yard, and its been lovely to see our horse in several different newspapers recently!
Some further recent photos and videos as he is prepared for Newmarket.
The Newmarket result – no fairytale ending!
Platinum is unplaced and now on his winter holidays.
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Parading at our Open day and Hog Roast
Back from the gallops…he doesn’t seem very tired!
Out in the paddock with Venutius