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Million dollar assignment in sight for Hasstobegood

The spotlight will shine on Ellerslie this weekend as Hasstobegood takes centre stage in the $1M (NZD) Karaka Million 3yo Classic over 1600m. (5:42pm AEDT, 7:42pm local time)

After being acquired at the beginning of January, Hasstobegood heads to the race on the back of a most encouraging OTI debut, running 2nd over 1500m at the track behind Pimlico. After an effort that delighted both trainer Roger James and jockey Vinnie Colgan, the filly looks set to peak in what looks a quality rendition of the race.

Barrier gods were kind at Wednesday morning’s draw, with Hasstobegood to jump from barrier two in the 13 horse field. This provides Colgan a great opportunity to take up a prominent position in the run should he elect to do so.

Hasstobegood brings some of New Zealand’s strongest juvenile form lines in to the race. When finishing 3rd in the Listed Uncle Remus (1400m) two starts ago she was beaten half a length by Travelling Light & Harlech. These two runners contested the Group 1 Levin Classic (1600m) on January 11 at their following start and once again filled the quinella, pairing off and putting a space on the rest of the field in the process.

Holder of an Australian Guineas nomination, a plan for the immediate future of Hasstobegood will become clearer after the Karaka Million.

Saturday promises much excitement for new connections and we wish them the best of luck on what we hope is the first of many features Hasstobegood plays her part in.

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On track with OTI – January 21

A busy period beckons as the autumn draws near. With feature racing fast approaching, we’ll look to keep you updated with as much as possible on all things happening on the track with OTI.

English import Corncrake will make his Australian debut on Wednesday at Canterbury (Race 5 – 4:40pm AEDT) in a Bm78 over 1550m for trainer Matthew Smith. The 4yo son of Mastercraftsman strung together a hat-trick of wins in the UK before making the journey out and looks a stayer of promise who has continued to please his new trainer. As is the case with many overseas horses we expect him to further improve out in distance as he continues to acclimatize but tomorrow promises to be the start of an exciting chapter for connections.

Group 1 placed Night’s Watch & progressive stayer Attorney have shown they are both right on track in the past week at the trials in Sydney. Night’s Watch is ahead of schedule this time around and trainer Chris Waller is thrilled with how he’s come back from his summer spell. Trialling last Tuesday over 900m at Rosehill he put in a very sharp piece of work with jockey James McDonald reporting that he felt fantastic underneath him. Night’s Watch will trial again this Thursday in what will be his final lead up to a return, most likely to be in the Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes at Caulfield (1400m) on February 8.

Below: Watch a replay of Night’s Watch’ recent Rosehill trial

 

A patient approach has been taken with Attorney after being given some time in the paddock over the spring and early part of the summer but a racetrack return nears. Matthew Smith and jockey Jason Collett have been effusive in their praise with his trial at Warwick Farm this morning leaving both delighted. Expect him to trial once more again in coming weeks before a return is plotted.

An eye must always be on the future and with that in mind work has really increased for a handful of big race aspirants led by the promising Chaillot. The unbeaten filly hasn’t been seen since winning the Listed Anzac Day Stakes at Flemington on April 25 last year, where she took the scalp of subsequent Caulfield Guineas winner, Super Seth. Spring ambitions were put on hold due to an injury enforced lay off but with time and the diligent work of trainer Archie Alexander and his team at Ballarat we hope to see her deliver on her potential in the coming months. Chaillot will trial tomorrow before kick starting her campaign in the early part of February.

An evergreen Gallic Chieftain hopes to have his say in autumn affairs. Runner up in last year’s Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap, the 7yo will ramp things up at the trials early next month and we are encouraged about how well he has done spelling.

Another pair of note are fellow lightly raced filly Selica and an improver in Inverloch. Selica (now with Phillip Stokes) possesses above average ability and we look forward to seeing what level she may be able to get to over the coming months. Inverloch has been an eye-catcher on the training track and Busuttin Racing will give him one more tune up at the trials before his prep gets underway at Caulfield on C.F. Orr Stakes Day.

With a host of quality racing on the horizon we wish the best of luck to all OTI connections!

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High Bridge gets job Dunn in style

They say patience is a virtue and the adage could not ring truer following the dominant breakthrough win of 9yo stayer, High Bridge at Flemington on Saturday.

On the back of tackling Listed company at his three starts this preparation, his moment in the sun came in the 2520m Handicap, courtesy of the sweetest of steers from leading jockey, Dwayne Dunn.

Jumping from the inside alley, he took a while find his stride with Dunn eventually settling him slightly worse than midfield. A pedestrian tempo throughout the early stages was somewhat alleviated when Red Alto injected some speed into the race a mile from home. In the process, High Bridge was shuffled back and found himself buried away on the inside at the rear yet continued to travel strongly under a hold throughout. Approaching the turn for home, it was plain to see that Dwayne had plenty of horse under him and should the breaks come he was going to be incredibly hard to deny.

Shortly after straightening, he successfully worked his way off the fence without losing momentum and angled off the heels of fellow Waller-trained, The Lord Mayor. He was asked to extend and that is exactly what he did. Forging clear, he found a gear his rivals didn’t possess, putting the race away in a matter of 100m.

The benefit of a previous sit aided Dunn’s confidence. “I knew what turn of foot I had. Today was a matter of keeping him smothered away until I needed him” he reported post-race. Jo Taylor (Chris Waller Racing) was equally effusive in her praise for both the ride and horse knowing the camp knew his quality and all he required was the chance to put himself into the race and the rest would take care of itself.

The win was High Bridge’s first since September 2018 and is a rewarding result for loyal OTI connections. With this sure to boost his confidence, it would be great to see him go on with it and see the winners stall again in the not too distant future!

To view a replay of the win via Racing.com, CLICK HERE.

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