Racing worldwide this weekend with our standout runner being Mr Satchmo who is contesting the Group 1 Qatar Derby on the 22nd of December. With two Group 1s under our belt this year, we hope to see Mr Satchmo round out the year with an international Group 1 – to make it three for OTI in 2018.
Coming into the race in fine form, having won three Listed races in France this year, trainer Antoine de Watrigant had absolutely no hesitations in taking up the offer to race Mr Satchmo at Al Rayyan Park, Doha for the Derby. Leading into the Christmas holiday break, Terry Henderson has already made the lengthy journey to Qatar and will be representing OTI and its partners on course.
To our domestic runners, Shakopee lines up once again on Saturday, this time at the newly renovated Eagle Farm track in Queensland. The Haydon Racing team believe his race manners are improving and he has a win in store. The stable is hoping to secure Stephanie Lacy for the ride as she knows the horse well and can maintain his relaxed race presence.
Kellstorm heads back to his favourite track in that of Morphettville in South Australia on Saturday to contest a 2500m benchmark 82 handicap. The tough stayer came tantalizingly close to victory in his last attempt at Morphettville, finishing second by a neck. Harry Coffey once again takes the ride and we hope to see the duo go one better this weekend.
Araaja has been improving her form with every start this preparation and she’ll get her chance to do so again on Saturday at Warwick Farm. With rain having affected a large part of New South Wales, and a little more rain forecast for the weekend she will appreciate the softer ground. Despite drawing awkwardly in barrier ten of eleven, she is fit and well, and the 2100m should suit perfectly.
Master Zephyr and Prinz Hlodowig are our two Victorian runners representing their Ballarat trainers Darren Weir and Archie Alexander respectively this weekend. Master Zephyr, who is deep into his preparation, lines up in a 2500m open handicap with jockey Dean Yendall aboard. In contrast, Prinz Hlodowig starts first up this preparation over 2000m in a benchmark 78 handicap. He will be guided by jockey Jye McNeil on the day and we look forward to seeing him back in action.
Best of luck to each runner’s connections, we hope to be heading into the new year with a few more winners on the board!