Fastnet Tempest ready to fire at Royal Ascot

The five-day Royal Ascot Carnival is the pinnacle of UK racing. Eighteen Group races – eight of them Group 1 – are set down for decision over the next week. The very best horses from around the world will descend on Ascot for this most prestigious of events.

OTI is delighted to be represented by Fastnet Tempest who heads to the Royal Hunt Cup on Wednesday (UK time). The mile event is to be run on the straight track at Ascot and features a huge field of 30 runners. Fastnet Tempest has drawn barrier 14.

Fastnet Tempest has enjoyed a tremendous season under the guidance of trainer, William Haggas. He resumed at Newbury in late-April over the mile where he took control of the race a furlong from home and looked all over the winner. To the frustration of connections, the gelding proceeded to ‘throw in the towel’ over the final 100M, eventually finishing third.

Fastnet Tempest had an experience down the straight course at Ascot when a dominant winner second-up. He settled in behind the speed for jockey, Josephine Gordon, before taking a split and charging to victory. Most recently, his winning streak continued on the tight-turning Chester track where he produced a dazzling turn of foot to come from dead-last as they entered the short home straight.

It’s a great honour to have a runner at the Royal meeting, and several OTI partners will be on-course to enjoy the experience. William Haggas has done a tremendous job preparing this cantankerous gelding toward the Royal Hunt Cup.

Fastnet Tempest is currently the second favourite in the Royal Hunt Cup (Race 5, 2AM Wednesday AEST). He will be ridden by Pat Cosgrove, and the middle draw gives him options in terms of finding the best going. William Haggas reports the gelding is in excellent order ahead of the race and a most competitive run is expected.

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Araaja reigns supreme in Toulouse

She has long been referred to as ‘Tom Melbourne’s little sister’, but Araaja is quickly forging a reputation of her own in France.

Trainer, Antoine de Watrigant had long felt Araaja was a potential Prix De Diane (French Oaks) contender and until recently she remained in contention for the prestigious classic. However, the decision to instead target a 2000M Class 1 at Toulouse resulted in a most pleasing win on Friday night.

Ridden by Valentin Seguy, Araaja settled second in the run and took control on the home bend. As soon as she hit the front, she was immediately challenged and headed by a horse peeling off her back. To her credit, Araaja dug in for the fight and reclaimed the ascendancy over the final furlong – eventually winning narrowly, with a 6.5L gap back to third.


Araaja is building an impressive CV having now won three of her six starts. This improving filly will now be targeted towards black type races with a Group 3 race at Chantilly on July 9 a potential target.

Araaja is by Roshanak who, as well as being Tom Melbourne’s mother, is also a half-sister to Fiorente. Araaja is certainly living up to her outstanding breeding page and it’s thought she will continue to improve with further racing.

OTI would like to congratulate all partners on their exciting win on Friday night. Hopefully, there are more wins in store with this exciting filly.

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