With a number of last start winners hitting the track once again, the weekend ahead is a busy one for OTI. We hope to see their strong form remain as we race in four states this Saturday alone.
In New South Wales, Sydney sees a strong contingent of horses in the Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup. The race includes a 15 strong field, 4 of which represent OTI and their respective trainers for the 2000m feature race.
Last start Group 3 JRA Cup winner Grey Lion steps out again with Kathy O’Hara on board and is looking to preserve his current winning form. Winning a recent trial over the 1200m journey, Kathy feels the horse is in feeling fantastic and should put in a great performance. Trainer Matt Smith is also just as pleased, indicating that the horse is in career best form – enjoying his work and regular trips to the beach.
Below: Grey Lion making light work of his competition for Kathy O’Hara.
Kellstorm is set to relish in the rise in distance to 2000m, having come out of the Group 3 Hawkesbury Cup well and maintains his campaign for the longer New South Wales based staying contests. Richard Freedman is impressed with this entire’s ability and naturally relaxed nature, which will see him comfortably run out the added journey.
After lacklustre performances last time in, both Casterton and High Bridge return on the back of a brief paddock freshen up and sharp 800m-1000m trials. Trainer Chris Waller is happy with their progress and hopes to see improvement from both horses. Casterton will be looking for further next start, whilst the 2000m distance looks a suitable start for High Bridge.
Below: Casterton looking primed for his run this weekend.
To Flemington on Saturday, So Far Sokool is looking to regain her form in the BM84 over 1400m where she will once again team up with her Guineas winning jockey Nikita Berriman. Having drawn wide, Archie Alexander hopes to see them find a comfortable position in running and work home. For a small horse, So Far Sokool has a beautiful big stride and will have the winkers applied to assist with her race day focus.
In fine form since Mantastic’s stable transition, Chris Waller has him rearing to go for the Vo Rogue Hall of Fame Trophy over 2000m. Sticking with Mantastic’s Flemington home track and last start winning jockey Craig Newitt, they look hard to beat in the Open Handicap contest. A horse that likes a bit of genuine speed, he enjoys being able to roll out of the gates, find and handy position in running and power home. We hope to see him unleash his incredible turn of foot again tomorrow!
In South Australia, we head to Morphettville with two runners in two separate Group 3 races. Future Score, another last start winner for OTI, takes on a competitive field in the Group 3 Queen’s Cup. Future Score has done nothing but impress trainer Matt Cumani since arriving in Australia so we hope to see him run out the 2500m distance.
Below: Future Score powering home to win his last start at Sandown.
Also joining him in Adelaide is recent 1400m Handicap winner Fastnet Tempest. Contesting the Group 3 R A Lee Stakes, The Lindsay Park training team have been thrilled with the horse this preparation and understand the need to ride tactically and ensure that Fastnet Tempest is released in the straight at the crucial moment. Stepping up to the mile, this is a critical factor in the horse either achieving a mid-field or top three result. We hope that jockey Andrew Mallyon can get the job done!
To Bendigo on Sunday, another last start winner Harbour Views heads to the BM64 over 1600m. In what was an impressive maiden win at Warrnambool, Harbour Views continues to grow from strength to strength this preparation. Under the watchful eye of trainer Matthew Williams, the horse had the best form of recovery post-race with plenty of trips to the beach for some sand work and sea water wading. Harbour Views now steps up in class and distance so we hope to see his incredible turn of foot on display once again.
Below: Harbour View’s impressive Maiden win at Warrnambool last start.
Miss Carboni also heads to Bendigo second-up this preparation to make up for her luckless run over the same track and distance last start. In what was a tightly run race, Miss Carboni struggled to find daylight in the straight and was unable to find a suitable gap to make her running. Trainer Archie Alexander was disappointed with the result but hopes to see her back on top of her game this start looking to avoid the same error.
We wish all of our connections the best of luck this weekend, may each runner improve on their last starts – and in many cases continue their winning ways!