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OTI’s European gallopers touch down in Australia

Four of OTI’s European gallopers touched down in Australia on Saturday. Ashim, Auyantepui, Montabot, and Vardani were aboard the much-anticipated flight from the United Kingdom.

OTI’s CEO, Terry Henderson said the flight was one of the most eagerly awaited.

“It’s very exciting to have four top-quality horses relocating to Australia on the one flight. We often see this quality with our pre-spring flights, however this is one of the more significant off-season groups,” Henderson said.

“We experienced a few logistical challenges and delays getting the horses to Newmarket due to COVID-19 border restrictions and the new Brexit policies, so there was a wave of relief when we received news that they had arrived in quarantine and were bound for Melbourne.

“We’re very excited that all four horses have arrived well. In two weeks time they’ll head to their respective trainers to get their Australian careers underway,” he added.

The horses on the shipment were;

Auyantepui

Headlining the quartet of OTI’s European imports is Italian mare Auyantepui. The four-year-old is beautifully bred, by star sire Night of Thunder, and her dam Sopran Enery (by Montjeu) descends from one of Italy’s best bloodlines.

Auyantepui won the Group 2 Italian Oaks last year before transferring to Mario Baratti’s Chantilly stables in July. Under Baratti’s care, she finished 2nd in the Listed Prix Joubert. Once Auyantepui has completed a fortnight in quarantine she will head to Archie Alexander’s Ballarat stables.

Montabot

In 2019, Montabot was considered one of France’s rising stars after winning his first two starts impressively. Following a stress fracture, he had an extended spell and made a full recovery under Chantilly trainer Pascal Bary’s care.

The son of Le Havre continued his undefeated record when he won first-up in October and has since placed in the first four in his two subsequent runs. The progressive five-year-old will join Matthew Smith’s Warwick Farm stables.

Ashim

Ashim is an Aga Khan-bred gelding by renowned American sire, Stormy Atlantic, out of Listed winner Ashiyla (by Rock of Gibraltar).

A recent purchase in partnership with trainer Matthew Smith, Ashim is a progressive, lightly-raced galloper with an excellent race record. From his seven starts, he has notched two wins, and a second placing, all of which were in his last four races. The four-year-old’s form suggests that he will prefer firmer ground, making him well-suited to Australian conditions.

Vardani

Also an Aga Khan, French-bred gelding, Vardani has impeccable bloodlines and has shown great potential in his race performances. By Charm Spirit and out of Visorama, Vardani is the half-brother to Champion European stayer Vazirabad. Vardani’s dam, Visorama is a Group 3 winner and Group 1 placed.

In his three career starts, Vardani produced two wins and demonstrated an excellent turn of foot. His form indicates a strong preference for firmer ground, which should see him relish racing in Australia under Archie Alexander’s care.

OTI wishes connections of all four horses the best of luck in their Australian careers!

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OTI Racing Weekend Preview

Three runners will represent OTI across Australia and New Zealand this weekend. While it will be a relatively quiet weekend in terms of the number of runners, there will be no shortage of excitement as promising filly Seven Twenty debuts for OTI in the Listed Karaka Million 2YO.

Friday

Under lights at The Valley, Zipitsweetie steps up in grade to contest a Benchmark 64 over 2040m (Race 6 – 9:00 pm). A last-start winner, the mare has come through her promising win in excellent order and continues to please trainer Archie Alexander in her work at home. The distance should suit her, and we expect her to put in another very competitive effort. Harry Coffey, who rode her to victory last start, takes the ride from barrier twelve.

Zipitsweetie at Stawell

Saturday

At Doomben, Le Juge returns from a five-week freshen up to race in a 1600m Open Handicap (Race 2 – 1:58 pm AEDT). The race looks ideal for him, and the Chris Waller stable is pleased with his progress, reporting that he is fit and well ahead of Saturday. While he will have to overcome the top weight, we expect the two-time Group 3 winner to put his best foot forward and be a real chance in the race. Larry Cassidy jumps from barrier six.

Le Juge

One of OTI’s most recent purchases, Seven Twenty headlines the weekend when she takes her spot in the NZ$1M Listed Karaka Million 2YO over 1200m (Race 4 – 4:30 pm AEDT) at Ellerslie, New Zealand. There’s a lot to like about the exciting Power filly who has placed in her two career starts and has been working superbly leading into the race. Jumping from barrier two and under the guidance of up-and-coming apprentice jockey Wiremu Pinn, she should have every opportunity to show her tenacity and figure in the finish.

The race will be the first time Seven Twenty steps out for OTI Racing, who purchased a 50% share in her at the start of the year. Prominent New Zealand owner Terry Lines and the filly’s trainers Shaun and Emma Clotworthy hold the other 50%.

Best of luck to connections!

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Seven Twenty’s chances in $1M Karaka Million 2YO bolstered

Exciting Power filly Seven Twenty strengthened her chances in the Karaka Million 2YO on Wednesday morning when she drew barrier two in the field of fourteen.

The talented two-year-old is set to take her place in the million-dollar race over 1200m at Ellerslie on Saturday afternoon, for trainers Shaun and Emma Clotworthy. Up-and-coming jockey Wiremu Pinn is booked to ride.

OTI’s General Manager Shayne Driscoll said he was thrilled with her draw and that the team and new owners were looking forward to seeing her step out for OTI in the coveted race.

“We couldn’t be happier that she’s drawn barrier two. It should allow her to find a perfect position behind the speed and give her every chance to finish off strongly,” Driscoll said.

“She is ticking all the right boxes for a big run. It’s going to be an exciting day for everyone involved!”

The Clotworthy stable reported that they are delighted with the filly ahead of Saturday’s race. A combination of galloping, swimming and beach work this week will see her primed for the event.

Seven Twenty has had a successful start to her career, having placed in both of her two starts.

In her most recent race she demonstrated her tenacity to overcome a tough run and finish second. That race was won by Te Akau Racing’s Palamos, who was favourite for the Karaka Million 2YO before being withdrawn earlier in January.

OTI acquired a 50% share in Seven Twenty at the start of the year from a partnership that includes successful New Zealand owner and breeder Terry Lines, and her trainers Shaun and Emma Clotworthy. The Lines and Clotworthy families hold the remaining 50% between them. 

The team at OTI wishes Seven Twenty’s connections on both sides of the Tasman Sea the very best of luck!

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