A busy weekend is set internationally, where three horses are expected to race in OTI colours in the Northern Hemisphere. One, Dark Pearl, is doing so for the first time, as he is only a new addition to the ‘stable’ – OTI purchasing a 50% stake in the horse in very recent times from our new co-owner.
The weekend kicks off on Friday night at 11:40pm (AEST) with the three-year-old Nicolas Clement trained colt, Inverloch racing over 3000m. Inverloch was a strong last start winner at Clairefontaine and will be meeting many of his rivals from the previous race on Friday night. With a bit of give in the track and with a good barrier (4), we will expect the son of Fastnet Rock, who is placed in all three of his runs, to be a top chance again in this race.
Fastnet Tempest is next up, over the 1400m at Ascot on Sunday morning at 12:00am (AEST) in a big field of 28. He should cope with the large field, and he faced similar numbers in his most recent start at the Royal Ascot Carnival. He found the line strongly on that occasion in what was a luckless run. William Haggas has decided to put the blinkers on the four-year-old gelding for the first time, after impressing at track work in them. Experienced Jockey Ryan Moore will be onboard and, from barrier 24, he should get clear galloping room. With the outside draw and a sublime form line prior to his previous start on this track, we will be hoping he impresses. Another strong performance here would consolidate plans to come to Australia for the Spring Carnival later this year.
Dark Pearl was scheduled to run last Friday night at Haydock Park, prior to that meeting being abandoned. The stunningly strong three-year-old, trained by Ed Walker, will now kick off his career for his new ownership group at 2:20am (AEST) in the last race at Ascot. Ed has been very pleased with his condition and on paper this race appears to suit him. While his first race under handicap conditions, Dark Pearl is seen as a very progressive stayer, which should make him a leading chance for the race. We are expecting big things from him, with eyes already firmly on a 2018 Australian Spring Carnival tilt.
Good luck to all connections this weekend, both domestically and internationally.