Sustained market support for O'Marilyn (O'Reilly) in the build-up to Saturday's New Zealand 1000 Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) proved to be misplaced as Stephen McKee's filly, sent off odds-on following a hat-trick of victories, could only muster seventh behind Platinum Witness (California Dane – Chartreuse by St Petersburg).
The winner, back against her own sex having finished fourth behind Turn Me Loose (Iffraaj) in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) last weekend, had previously landed the Canterbury Stakes (Listed, 1600m) in October.
However, she produced a wide-margin victory in what was a career best performance on her tenth start to become the second Group One winner for her sire California Dane (Danehill) and the first from his 2011/12 crop.
Speaking after the race, Latta said: "They are always cheap afterwards. This filly has always showed a lot of ability and we had her set for this race for a long time. Last Saturday she was a bit above herself and raced keenly. We decided to ride her a bit more patiently this time."
Darci's Dream (Darci Brahma) cut out the early fractions as Platinum Witness was settled worse than midfield by Darryl Bradley and O'Marilyn took a handy position towards the head of affairs.
While the hot favourite did not look comfortable entering the home turn, Platinum Witness launched her challenge wide and finished powerfully to collar the long-time pacesetter Darci's Dream with Belle Miraaj (Iffraaj) back in third.
Commenting on the victory, Bradley said afterwards: "It's absolutely amazing. To win for Lisa Latta, Neville McAlister, Lincoln Farms and John Street is a great thrill.
"Turning in she was travelling really well and Darci's Dream kicked, but Platinum Witness was too strong over the concluding stages."
A winner of two races from ten starts, having been placed a further five times, Platinum Witness has amassed NZ$257,275 in prize money.
Platinum Witness is the first foal out of three-time Listed winner Chartreuse (St Petersburg), who is a half-sister to Zarnitsa (Maroof), dam of the Group Three-winning Zennista (Zenno Rob Roy). Her second dam Imzadi (Sir Tristram) was a winner over 1600 metres in Australia and she has produced five named foals, four of whom have raced and three of whom have won.
Chartreuse died in January 2013 having foaled a colt by Commands (Danehill) in September 2012.
Extract from ANZ Bloodstock News/StuffNZ (p)