OTI Gazette | Issue 71

In the 71st edition of the OTI Gazette, we have a chat to Murray Baker, who recently retired as a racehorse trainer and was also former trainer of Australian Derby contender Regal Lion.

We also discuss the famous Warrnambool Carnival, look at our recent winners and upcoming runners, introduce a new colt by Vadamos and Matt Steward talks about some of the great equine adventurers including Phar Lap, Strawberry Road and now Verry Elleegant.

All that and much more!


“For me, given the sort of horses I trained, giving them plenty of time to develop was an essential ingredient to my success. I always felt that with the staying types, time was a huge asset. Giving them time to develop was a huge benefit.”


“Local and Melbourne people moulded with trainers and jockeys to produce good times on and off the track and to raise funds for local charities. The passion and excitement of the carnival matched it with any carnival witnessed around the globe.”

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“OTI with the double on the card”

The John O’Shea-trained Sound of Cannons will enter the Andrew Ramsden as one of three last start winners in the field after securing his first Australian win on Wednesday.

OTI Racing’s British import came from off the pace under Jamie Kah to claim the $50,000 Ladbrokes Switch Handicap (2400m), the benchmark 70 event the scene of his first Victorian start.

Sound of Cannons winning his first race in Australia with Jamie Kah on board.

“That was John’s (O’Shea) purpose for setting it for this race, this horse race very well left-handed in Europe and he hadn’t raced that way in Australia so it was worth a shot at the stumps to bring him down, see how he went,” OTI Racing’s managing director Terry Henderson said.

Sound Of Cannons ($6) defeated Irish Butterfly ($4) by 2.25 lengths with Teofilo Star ($3.50 favourite) fading after leading to finish third, five lengths behind the winner.

The above is an exert of Carl Di Iorio’s Racing.Com article, which can be read in full here.

Only a few hours later Eaglemont, trained by the Maher/Eustace team, took out the benchmark 70 event over 1800m and made it a double for the OTI colours. From an outside barrier, Jye McNeil managed to progressively build up the Geldings pace throughout the race and won decisively.

Eaglemont (IRE) ridden by Jye McNeil wins the Ladbrokes Same Race Multi Handicap at Ladbrokes Park Hillside Racecourse on May 11, 2022 in Springvale, Australia. (George Sal/Racing Photos)

Eaglemont took home the win exactly three years to the day that he was purchased at the Arqana Breeze Up sale by De Burgh Equine and Narvick International.

Congratulations to all connections!

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Williams unearths gem at ‘Bool

A massive week of racing both here in Melbourne with the Warrnambool May Carnival and in Adelaide with the running of the G1 SAROA Robert Sangster Stakes.

Some incredible performances on the track, close finishes and wonderful stories have unfolded over the last seven days.

I have covered 29 races from the mounting yard and have settled on six horses to follow across the three meetings.

Warrnambool 4th May

Race 2 – Western Districts Electrical Services Maiden Plate 1400m


One of the more impressive fillies that raced over the Warrnambool Carnival – she is a brute of a three-year-old. A tall, rangy type who stands over ground and has an impressive hindquarter on her. A lot of horse to deal with  if they don’t do things right! Trainer Matthew Williams made comments to suggest she was a challenging filly to deal with when she arrived from New Zealand but his team at Warrnambool have done a fantastic job with her. There is always a question when a horse debuts with blinkers, a cross-over nose band, pre-race earmuffs, a stallion chain, doesn’t spend much time in the mounting yard and is lead to the start off the pony. Despite the extensive list of gear and race day management, Toregene was on her best behavior, but it does leave questions about her mental maturity.

Using gear on a racehorse is just another tool a trainer can use to get the best out of each individual horse, all the gear used on Toregene aid (amongst other things) in getting a horse to settle, focus and relax both in training and on race day, this mix seemed to work perfectly on this occasion.

I’m making her a horse to follow for two reasons, firstly, despite winning over 1400m on debut, I think she will get better as she steps out over ground, physically that’s what she is looking for (providing she settles) and secondly, she still has some mental maturity to come.

These comments were apart of Jayne Ivil’s mounting yard review, which can be ready in full through here.

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