This weekend, the racing world’s attention will be at Moonee Valley with the Cox Plate Carnival taking centre stage. We saddle up 7 runners over the weekend that all look to be very good chances.
Our Saturday kicks off with our newest addition to the OTI stable, Wyetta, who is Aloisia’s half-sister. She will be running in a 1000m Listed Race at Trentham that begins at 12:02 pm. After a very promising debut, in which she finished third, she now steps up in distance from an 800m to a 1000m race. Darryl Bradley will ride her from barrier 4 and she will carry 54.5kg’s. Although this filly will surely be wanting further, we will be hoping she can show just as much talent as her half-sister.
From New Zealand, we then head to Moonee Valley in what will most likely be a historic day for racing, with Winx looking to become the second horse in history to win the Cox Plate three times. While she may have scared off many potential rivals, Gailo Chop will don the OTI silks in the 2040m, weight-for-age that begins at 5 pm. Gailo Chop has been aimed at this race from the start of his prep. The last start Group-1 winner will be looking to do better than his eighth-place finish in the race two years ago. Mark Zahra has retained the ride, and from barrier 4. While stopping Winx may be difficult, we think he will run a very good race. If he can finish in the placings, he will most likely head to the Melbourne Cup.
The Moonee Valley Vase is always an intriguing race, as it is a strong form line heading into the spring. The last two running’s producing the eventual winners of the Victorian Derby and Crown Oaks with Prized Icon in 2016 and Jameka in 2015. The race begins at 5:45 pm and is a Group 2 over 2040m. This year we have two runners in the race. Vin De Dance uses it as a platform towards the Victorian Derby, and Aloisia on a path towards the Crown Oaks. Aloisia, the 2017 Thousand Guineas winner, has come through her Group 1 victory in terrific order. Her last run would indicate that she will relish the step up in distance. Vin De dance is trained by the Baker/Forsman team with some good runs taking place in New Zealand, before a third-place finish at Caulfield over a week ago. Luke Nolen has retained the ride on Aloisia and will carry 54.5kg from barrier 1, while Vin De dance will be ridden by Damien Oliver, who will carry 56.5kg and jump from barrier 6. We are expecting an excellent showing from both and believe they are ones to follow as we move deeper into the spring.
Sunday is a busy day on the Provincial circuit, with the running of both the Hamilton and Sale Cup, which will undoubtedly make for a busy day’s racing. OTI will have runners at both tracks; headlined by Fastnet Tempest in the Sale Cup.
For the second time this weekend, we will have two runners in the same race, as Corrs and Romanesque feature in a Benchmark 78, 2200m race at 2:43 pm in Hamilton. After a good win last start, Corrs will be looking to make it back-to-back wins for his connections. Romanesque on the other hand will be looking to regain the form he had in Ireland, as he looks to gain his first win in Australia.
From Hamilton, we move to Sale to find Fastnet Tempest in the Listed 1600m Sale Cup at 4:15 pm. After getting a run under his belt in Australia, he will now be looking to get his first win in Aus after a solid hit out first up at Caulfield 2 weeks ago. Michael Walker will ride from barrier 9 and carry 54kg’s. All his work in quarantine has been great heading into the race, and he should run a good race in a very competitive field.
Good luck to all connections involved.