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Platinum aims for 11 golds on the spin.

PLATINUMLANCELOT is reported in "perfect shape" by Jason Foster for his attempt to equal the modern-day record of 11 consecutive hurdles wins - shared by Rossa Ranger and El Tenor - at Wimbledon tonight, writes Richard Birch.

The son of Roanokee faces strong opposition in the Stan James-backed jumps race live on Sky, but his trainer is hugely upbeat about the dog's prospects.

Foster said yesterday: "I gave him a sprint over 256m hurdles last Wednesday and he clocked 15.52sec, which is the quickest time I can recall round Wimbledon. Kildare Lark and Smooth Turbo have recorded 15.62sec over that trip, but Platinumlancelot went ten spots faster. That just shows the form he's in. The time tells you the lad is spot-on.

"If he does come away then I'll be disappointed if he's beaten."

Foster, who trains the dog for the Platinum Racing syndicate headed by Brad Russell, added: "We didn't set out to equal or break any records, but once we got to about eight straight wins it's been in our minds. The record is within touching distance, and it would be fantastic to make a bit of history. From a trainer's perspective, it would also rate a great achievement.

"People in the kennel feel good about it. Everyone is excited, and there's a great atmosphere around the place. It's not something that happens every day."

Platinumlancelot's major objective remains the Irish Grand National, and there's a possibility that Foster's star hurdler will have one more run this month before being rested for that event.

Foster said: "Whether he breaks the record or not, there's a possibility he could run at Belle Vue on August 20. If he did go there, it would definitely be his last port of call prior to Ireland.

"I don't want to over-race this lad. I want him for all the big races next year as well. If, for instance, the weather got very hot, he wouldn't go to Belle Vue - record or no record."

TONIGHT'S live Sky broadcast will include footage of hurdles stars of yesteryear El Tenor and Rossa Ranger, plus a selection of Irish Derby heats and last month's Swindon Produce Stakes final.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Aug 11, 2009
Words:362
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