Busy Grand Final Eve for OTI

Over the past 20 years, the Benalla Cup has been a good race for OTI horses progressing through the spring. Lightuma won the race in 2002, then Lord Fandango saluted in 2017 before going on to win the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes and finish a close up 4th in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup.

This year’s renewal contains Barade and Tigre Royale, both trained by Archie Alexander. Barade, a winner over last year’s Spring Carnival has done little wrong in his lead up races. Archie believes he will be most competitive. Tigre Royale will come into his own should the predicted rain arrive. While the distance of the race is still short of his ideal, a wet track will bring him into contention.

Barade winning the Shoot Out Quality at Eagle Farm last preparation.

Earlier in the day, Eagles Crag will start a warm favourite for Archie Alexander in the 64 rating race over 1600m. This horse has been unable to get a run in higher benchmark races, so it is hoped that he can win here and progress his rating. If successful, he can then be targeted at the $500,000 Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Series Final on Oaks Day.

Eagles Crag (IRE) ridden by Jordan Childs wins the Viatek Maiden Plate at Sportsbet Pakenham on February 11, 2021 in Pakenham, Australia. (Ross Holburt/Racing Photos).

Last start winner Almsgiver will make his return to racing at Coleraine this afternoon in the 1300m Benchmark 64. After trialling up well, he is poised to be very competitive for Matthew Williams. A win in this race would see him given his chance to qualify for the Melbourne Cup Carnival Country Series Final.

Almsgiver (NZ) ridden by Dean Yendall wins the The Bottle O Swan Hill SV 2&3YO Maiden Plate at Swan Hill Racecourse on June 13, 2021 in Swan Hill, Australia. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos).

At The Valley, the evergreen Inverloch will take his place in the Group 3 JRA Cup. He continues to work well for the Busuttin & Young team and from a good barrier, with some rain predicted, we expect to see him run a bold race out in front.

Inverloch (IRE) ridden by Linda Meech wins the Dynamic Print Group Handicap, at Moonee Valley Racecourse on August 03, 2019 in Moonee Ponds, Australia. (Reg Ryan/Racing Photos).

Late on Friday night at Haydock in the UK, Speranzoso has his first race start for OTI. This gorgeous looking Siyouni colt was purchased at the Breeze Up Sales earlier in the year. His trainer Ed Walker believes he’ll improve significantly with the run.

Speranzoso at the time of purchase.

We wish our connections the very best of luck!