Kaniva to debut at Compiegne

The French have bid farewell to winter and as the spring sun takes over the all-weather season gives way to turf track racing. It’s an exciting time as the better horses start to emerge in the lead-up to the quality racing the beckons in the late-spring, early-summer period.

OTI have already had very good success in France this season. Tom Melbourne’s sister, Araaja, won stylishly on her resumption while both Le Juge and Fastnet Cyclone impressed with their first-up runs.

Legendary trainer, John Hammond, will take Kaniva to the races for his debut at Compienge on Monday (11.20pm ADST). The dual Prix de l’Arc-winning trainer has commented that Kaniva is a settled galloper with a nice action that will only get better as he steps up in distance.

Like so many of OTI’s young Northern Hemisphere gallopers this 3YO gelding is a son of Fastnet Rock. OTI’s partners named the 3YO crop of Fastnet Rock’s after Victorian county towns and located just 43km east of the South Australia border, Kaniva is home to approximately 1,000 residents.

Monday’s debut at Compiegne over 1600M is certainly short of Kaniva’s best distance but it will prove a good pipe-opener to future contests over 2000M and beyond. OTI wishes its partners all the best with this gelding and hopefully a successful future lies ahead.

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Promising UK stayer to step out at Mornington

A recent addition to the OTI team, Shakopee, is a lightly-raced UK galloper that showed very good promise with Luca Cumani.

Now with Luca’s son, Matt, Shakopee is ready to make his Australian debut over 2000M at Mornington on Saturday (Race 3). Luca recommended the horse would benefit from Australian training conditions and OTI were keen to secure Matt as trainer of the gelding.

Shakopee produced a most dominant performance at Doncaster in July when charging home off a moderate tempo to win comfortably over 2066M. It was an eyebrow raising win and with his best days ahead of him OTI’s partners have reason to be excited about this gelding.

Shakopee brings winning form to Australia having won on the all-weather track at Wolverhampton prior to shipping out. His work since arriving has been pleasing and his summer coat came through shortly after arriving. The straight uphill track and relaxed environment at Ballarat have been ideal for this gelding.

In his most recent bit of serious work, Shakopee was impressive in company with last-start Flemington winner, Show A Star. He heads into Saturday’s Benchmark 90 assignment on the fresh side and, while he should be competitive, there’s plenty of improvement to come.

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