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OTI Racing | Weekend Preview

Off the back of Quick Thinker’s terrific 2nd in the Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup on Friday, seven OTI runners are set to contest stakes races this weekend, headlined by I’m Thunderstruck and Romancer in the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes.

Saturday 18th of September

Caulfield

Current Track Rating: Good

Amade

First-up in his second racing preparation in Australia, Amade is poised to run a good race fresh as he starts his build-up towards a tilt at the Melbourne Cup.

Race 7 – 4:15pm | 2000m Group 3 Naturalism Stakes | T: Phillip Stokes | J: Ben Allen 56.5kg | Barrier 6 | Saddlecloth 6

Amade winning at Flemington in April.

Future Score

Future Score returns to racing after missing the autumn and for that reason, is sure to be improved for the outing. If he can recapture his spring form of 2020, which included a Cranbourne Cup victory, he is sure to feature in a nice race over the Carnival.

Race 7 – 4:15pm | 2000m Group 3 Naturalism Stakes | T: Matt Cumani | J: Dean Yendall 55.5kg | Barrier 13 | Saddlecloth 10

Future Score (IRE) ridden by Fred W Kersley wins the TAB Cranbourne Cup at Cranbourne Racecourse on October 11, 2020 in Cranbourne, Australia. (Ross Holburt/Racing Photos).

I’m Thunderstruck

A very exciting galloper, I’m Thunderstruck is sure to make his presence felt with the light weight on his back. Despite the wide draw, the Price & Kent team are confident of a top showing from this son of Shocking.

Race 8 – 4:50pm | 1400m Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes | T: Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr | J: Jye McNeil 52kg | Barrier 16 | Saddlecloth 16

I’m Thunderstruck (NZ) ridden by Jamie Kah wins the K.A. Morrison Handicap at Flemington Racecourse on July 17, 2021 in Flemington, Australia. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos).

Romancer

One of OTI’s most consistent horses, Romancer finally gets his chance to compete at Group 1 level. He comes into the race fit and well and if given the right run, can certainly feature in the home straight.

Race 8 – 4:50pm | 1400m Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes | T: Grahame Begg | J: Michael Dee 52kg | Barrier 8 | Saddlecloth 11

Romancer (NZ) ridden by Lachlan Neindorf wins the Hilton Nicholas Straight Six at Flemington Racecourse on May 22, 2021 in Flemington, Australia. (George Salpigtidis/Racing Photos).

Randwick

Current Track Rating: Soft

Attorney

Up to 2000m, Attorney is well-poised to run a good race second-up. Although he will be better suited over further, he should should be running home strongly.

Race 9 – 4:35pm | 2000m Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes | T: Matthew Smith | J: Brock Ryan 56kg | Barrier 11 | Saddlecloth 10

Attorney (FR) ridden by Nash Rawiller wins the Sportsbet Pakenham Cup at Sportsbet Pakenham Racecourse on December 05, 2020 in Pakenham, Australia. (Scott Barbour/Racing Photos).

Selino

Our Sydney Cup winner will appreciate the extra 400m second-up but still finds himself racing at a distance well short of his best. It’s important he relaxes in running and hits the line well as he progresses towards more suitable targets.

Race 9 – 4:35pm | 2000m Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes | T: Chris Waller | J: Glen Boss 58kg | Barrier 7 | Saddlecloth 1

SELINO - Gr 1 Sydney Cup
Selino winning the G1 Sydney Cup earlier this year.

Young Rascal

Though out of form on race day, Young Rascal heads into this race looking and moving well. He does however need to start showing some endeavour in his races. His best form would see him competitive in a race of this nature.

Race 9 – 4:35pm | 2000m Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes | T: Richard & Michael Freedman | J: Sam Clipperton 56kg | Barrier 9 | Saddlecloth 11

Young Rascal at Canterbury Park Quarantine back in the autumn of 2020.

St Cloud (FR)

Current Track Rating: Good

Funambulist

Resuming off the back of a serious colic attack, it will be great to see this talented son of New Bay return. Though he’s likely to need the run, Andre is confident of a forward showing.

Race 5 – 12:25am Sunday AEST | 1600m 3yo Maiden | T: Andre Fabre | J: Sophie Tison 55.5kg | Barrier 4 | Saddlecloth 5

Funambulist during his morning routine in Chantilly.

Sunday 19th of September

Bordeaux le Bouscat (FR)

Current Track Rating: Good

Schwanensee

A very consistent mare, Schwanensee is once again expected to be competitive. She is knocking on the door of another win.

Race 4 – 1:45am Monday AEST | 1900m Class 3 | T: Antoine de Watrigant | J: Fabrice Veron 54kg | Barrier 4 | Saddlecloth 9

Schwanensee breaking her maiden at Castera-Verduzan earlier this preparation.

We wish all of our connections the very best of luck!

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Stokes eyes Cup with Amade

Phillip Stokes’ talented import Amade will start his assault on the Melbourne Cup when he heads to Caulfield on Saturday for the Group 3 MRC Foundation Cup.

The former French galloper was an authoritative winner at Flemington on Anzac Day this year but hasn’t been to the races since then.

“He never really went out of work, we just kept him ticking over and just kept him on our uphill training track and just kept a bit of residual fitness there,” Stokes said.

“You don’t really get a great guide on his trackwork, he’s a real race-day horse, but I feel he’ll run well.

“Obviously, we haven’t got him peaking or wound up for Saturday, he’ll keep improving through the prep.

“We’ll probably go from this to The Bart Cummings and maybe a Geelong Cup and try and get him into a Melbourne Cup.”

Amade (IRE) ridden by Ben Allen wins the William Newton VC Handicap at Flemington Racecourse on April 25, 2021 in Flemington, Australia. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos).

Amade is raced by OTI Racing and had solid international form prior to coming to Australia, including a win in the G2 Belmont Gold Cup over 3200m in New York in 2019.

“I’m very appreciative of OTI giving me the chance to train a horse like this, because he’d been off the scene for two years, so for him to win second-up on Anzac Day over 2800m, I thought that was a pretty good effort,” Stokes said.

“He’s got a big set of lungs (and) like I said, he only does what he has to at trackwork.

“I feel, he’d have to be going better this time around to be even contemplating going to the Melbourne Cup, but I’m sure he’s going better, we’ve been happy with what we’ve seen.

“Benny Allen’s got a better understanding of the horse now, I’m keen to have him on, if he’s running top four like he did first-up last prep and he’ll build on that going into The Bart Cummings hopefully.”

Amade has been assigned 52.5kg for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups and is at $26 with Sportsbet for ‘the race that stops a nation’.

Stokes has another intriguing runner at Caulfield on Saturday in bargain buy Island Edition, who showed a good turn of foot to win by almost five lengths on debut at Ballarat last month.

“I like the horse, I think he’s got upside, he’ll run well, each-way chance,” Stokes said.

Island Edition may not have been perfect in his first trip to the races, but he has exhibited his potential to his connections.

“His trackwork says he has, he’s still got to get it together on race day,” Stokes said.

“He’s an unorthodox-sort-of-looking horse that cost $8000 online, but anyway, he’s going alright!”

This article was written by Edward Sadler for racing.com and can be viewed in full here

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Celebrate and Roll with the Punches

It seems that owners are often at one of two extremes with their horses. On one hand, they are celebrating success or on the other, they are having to cope with bad news.

Our fellow partners at OTI are no different. While we have our share of winners and top runs, we also have horses that run below expectations or suffer injury. Those extremes of experience certainly came to the fore in the past few weeks.

Harbour Views, a long-time favourite for his owners and many punters, returned to racing in great fashion in winning the Listed ‘The Sofitel’ at Flemington. As the family pet for the four kids of Matt Williams, his trainer, the win provided a reason to celebrate for his owners scattered around the globe.

Harbour Views (FR) ridden by Damian Lane returns to the mounting yard after winning the The Sofitel at Flemington Racecourse on September 11, 2021 in Flemington, Australia. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos).

Eight hours later at Doncaster in the UK, Ottoman Emperor appeared in the world’s oldest Classic, the St Leger Stakes. After winning his past four races, hopes were high that he would run well. Not only did that not happen, but he returned home to Johnny Murtagh’s stables in Ireland with an injury that may keep him out of racing for a long period.

A night later at Longchamp in France, owners again stayed up to watch Timour have his first race in OTI colours in the Group 2 Prix Niel. Off a slow tempo, Timour started a sprint between two horses, only to have the gap closed. It was a super run, but unfortunately, despite the post-race inquiry, placings were not changed and the horse was confirmed as third.

Timour in the pre-parade ahead of his Group 2 test.

Each week the team at OTI can roll out similar stories that serve to emphasise the ups and downs of being a racehorse owner. The experienced owners know that, on balance, the winning experiences outweigh the disappointments. They also know that the way trainers and organisations like OTI handle the bad news can have an enormous impact on the way that news is received and accepted. It is imperative that it be conveyed in a timely and accurate fashion. Wherever possible, tactics to address the issues, be they performance or injury based, should be concise.

So celebrate long and hard when success flows. It will help sustain those times when the news is not so welcoming. And when that bad news comes and you are comfortable that actions are being taken to turn fortunes around, it pays, as one long time racing philosopher once said, “to turn the page”.

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