A very quiet weekend for OTI with just three runners. Kicking off with Downdraft in the Group 3 Irish St Leger Trial Stakes on Friday evening at The Curragh for Joseph O’Brien. In what is solely an O’Brien affair, the race has just six runners – two for Aiden and four for Joseph.
The field is a small, yet strong contest with Capri being a dual classic winner and Master of Reality a Royal Ascot Gold Cup third placegetter. Amongst the runners, Downdraft looks to be a very progressive horse and will likely have more to offer at this distance. With further rain expected in Ireland leading into the race, Joseph has slight hesitations in his potential performance on soft ground. Having won three starts from his last five runs this preparation, we are looking forward to seeing a competitive effort from this classy Camelot colt.
Downdraft’s Listed win last start:
On Saturday we turn to Benitoite at Caulfield, who now has four wins from six starts, as she looks to continue her winning streak. After a brilliant track gallop, she has progressed well following her win in the VOBIS Gold Reef. In what was an impressive effort, Benitoite ran home in 35.18secs, clocking 11.52secs and 11.62secs for the final two furlongs. She will relish the added distance and Clinton McDonald believes she will be figuring in the finish.
Benitoite after winning the VOBIS Gold Reef.
Rounding out the weekend is another live chance with Haky running in the Group 2 Kergorlay at Deauville in France. The Irish bred ranks a little lower in the ratings than his rivals, however, his very strong win in his last start over 2400m gives us the confidence he has what it takes for the Group 2 quality. Trainer John Hammond has been nothing but impressed with the horse this time in and knows he can run out a strong race.
We would like to wish the connections of each OTI runner the best of luck and happy racing this weekend!