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San Huberto to make Australian debut in the Geelong Cup

San Huberto will make his much-anticipated Australian debut in the Group 3 Geelong Cup on Wednesday afternoon (Race 7 – 4:00 pm).

The French import will contest the 2400m race after narrowly missing out on a run in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup last Saturday. San Huberto will carry topweight of 59kg with star hoop Damien Oliver booked to ride from the inside barrier.

The Group 2 winner will be vying to secure a spot in the 2020 Melbourne Cup where he is currently ranked 30th in the order of entry.

Trained by Fabrice Chappet in France, but currently under the temporary care of Matt Cumani in Australia, the four-year-old has pleased in his work since arriving in Melbourne.

After spending a fortnight at the Werribee International Quarantine Centre, San Huberto relocated to Cumani’s Ballarat stables over the weekend.

San Huberto in the G2 Vicomtesse Vigier 2020

Cumani is delighted with the horse, describing him as straightforward with a great temperament and a wonderful physical presence.

“He’s a very good-natured horse, very relaxed and naturally confident,” Cumani told Andrew Bensley in an interview on Monday.

“I think he can certainly be up there with his form with the best of them. I’m confident we’ve got the right horse, and we’re going to give it a very good crack.”

“He’s got a bit of wet ground action, but I’m told pretty categorically by his French connections that he really does not like wet ground, and we could see that when he ran in the Kergorlay,” Cumani added.

Connections of San Huberto will be overjoyed with Wednesday’s sunny forecast which will see that he gets his preferred track conditions.

OTI has an incredible record in the Geelong Cup, including three winners; Bauer (2008), Gatewood (2012) and Ibicenco (2013), three 2nd placings; Grey Lion (2016), Gallic Chieftain (2017) and True Self (2019) and three 3rd placings; Bauer (2011), Magic Instinct (2008) and Manndawi (2015).

OTI wishes San Huberto’s French and Australian connections the best of luck in tomorrow’s race!

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The OTI Gazette – Issue No. 30

In this week’s Gazette, we chat to wizard of the west Willie Pike and find out what makes him tick, why his riding style is so unique and why he steers clear of Twitter.

Plus, we consider whether Melbourne needs to take a leaf out of Sydney’s book to promote feature race days, and Matt Stewart recalls the mystique of Might and Power’s trainer, Jack Denham.

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OTI Racing Weekend Preview

A stellar weekend of racing for OTI will see the navy and gold silks carried in Australia, Ireland and France. The weekend is highlighted by runners in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup in Melbourne, and St Leger Stakes in Sydney.

Caulfield

Promising filly Yosemite will line up in a 3yo Fillies race over 1400m (Race 2 – 12:50 pm). After being scratched last week, she has been working well and is feeling bright and fresh according to Robbie Griffiths. With William Pike in the saddle, we’re anticipating that she will perform strongly.

True Self will take her place in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup over 2400m (Race 9 – 5:15 pm) for the Willie Mullins stable. Whilst she hasn’t won since her Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes victory at Flemington last spring, she has raced in competitive events and has lacked luck in her runs. Jumping from barrier 4 with Declan Bates aboard, we are confident that she will run a bold race and be right in the finish to continue her superb record on Australian soil.

Randwick

Two OTI runners will contest the St Leger Stakes at Randwick over 2600m (Race 9 – 5:30 pm).

Progressive stayer Attorney steps up in trip off the back of his Group 3 Colin Stephen Quality win a fortnight ago. Matthew Smith is pleased with his recent work and said he couldn’t fault him at this point in his preparation. With in-form hoop Jason Collett riding him from the inside barrier, we’re confident that he will run a big race.

Azuro also contests the St Leger Stakes, for the Ciaron Maher & David Eustace stable. He pulled up well from his run in the Group 1 The Metropolitan last start where he finished 14th but showed a promising effort in the final stages. With three runs under his belt he has come on from his last start, and we expect him to put in a strong showing with Regan Bayliss riding from barrier 10.

Leopardstown, Ireland

On Sunday morning Australian time, Camphor will contest a 3yo+ Handicap over 2400m (Race 6 – 2:45 am Sunday AEST). The Camelot mare has had an eight-week spell, and Jessica Harrington is delighted with her progress. We’re optimistic that she will perform well with Shane Foley in the saddle.

Le Croise-Laroche, France

In France, Paradia is set to contest a Class 4 race over 1800m (Race 8 – 6:00 am Sunday AEST). New trainer Mario Baratti is pleased with her and believes she will appreciate the drop back in distance and soft track. We expect her to finish off strongly with Guilain Bertrand riding from barrier 8.

Kilmore

Sleepless has accepted for a Benchmark 64 over 2000m (Race 4 – 2:45 pm) on Sunday afternoon. The Archie Alexander trained gelding showed an encouraging performance when he finished 3rd at Kyneton last start. Alexander commented that he’s happy with the horse and believes from barrier 2, he should have every opportunity to be right in the mix. Neil Farley rides.

Benitoite has accepted for the Listed Seymour Cup over 1600m (Race 8 – 5:00 pm). The Americain mare is in great shape according to trainer Clinton McDonald who expects her to be peaking third up. With showers forecast over the weekend, she will appreciate the give in the ground and we expect her to figure in the finish with Billy Egan riding from barrier 7.

Romancer will also contest the Listed Seymour Cup for the Grahame Begg stable. The Listed winner is in terrific shape going into what looks a perfect race for him. With Jordan Childs riding from barrier 1, we’re optimistic that he’ll bounce back to winning form.

Best of luck to our connections!

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