Future Score to the Banjo Paterson Series Final July 6

In what was a tough run for Future Score on the heavy 9 rated track at Sandown, he proved his tenacity in winning the 2400m Handicap today at Sandown.

Looking like they were stuck for clear running room coming into the top of the straight, jockey Damien Oliver ensured he had Future Score no further than a length off them coming into the turn. Not having to make up a whole lot of ground, the field stacked up in front as Oliver searched for clear running room.

According to Oliver “It was a good win and we were a little sneaky around the turn, it was a bit tactical. I was looking to get to the outside but they jammed up and didn’t have a chance to do that, so he did well to be able to come back to the inside”.

Future Score had trainer Matt Cumani, along with several owners in attendance worried when he had to make the move to the inside, however they were thankfully rewarded when he knuckled down and found the line in the final few strides.

Provided he pulls up well, Future Score will now head to the final of the 2600m Banjo Paterson Series at Flemington on the 6th of July. As his last run this preparation, he will then have a small let up prior to spring, before contesting a number of races leading into the Ballarat Cup.

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Joseph O’Brien has Downdraft Primed for Royal Ascot

Joseph O’Brien has achieved more in racing at the age of 25 that most could dream of achieving in a lifetime, yet the remarkable thing is that he is only just getting started. The rise of dual-purpose trainer Joseph O’Brien saw an Irish Derby victory and second spot in the trainers’ championship last season and here he takes the wraps off his talented team for the 2019 Flat season leading into Royal Ascot.

As a jockey, Joseph rode 30 Group 1 winners including two renewals of the Derby at Epsom before the inevitable day came where his lengthy frame made it impractical for him to make the weight required to ride on the Flat.

He was still just 22 years old when that day came, however he had already been playing a major role as a trainer under his father Aidan O’Brien’s name on the family farm in Owning, with him being given all the credit for the success of Ivanovich Gorbatov in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2016.

Having been granted his own licence to train in June 2016, O’Brien has already trained multiple Group 1 winners on the Flat and Grade 1 winners over jumps. In just his second full Flat season he finished second to in the Irish trainers’ championship and became the first Irish trainer other than Aidan O’Brien to train 100 domestic winners on the Flat in a calendar year since 1994.

With Group 1 winners Latrobe and Iridessa leading his string into Royal Ascot for 2019, OTI’s very own Downdraft will join them on the Friday of the carnival. Heading to the Class 2 Duke of Edinburgh Handicap, he looks set to make his mark at on the world’s biggest stage. Being the last race on the card, Downdraft will jump at 5:35pm Friday June 21 local time or 2:35am, Saturday June 22 (AEST – Melbourne).

To view the current Duke of Edinburgh field, please CLICK HERE.

We wish his connections the very best of luck!

Click on the video below to view a profile piece on Joseph and his yard at Owning Hill, near Piltown in County County Kilkenny in the south-east of Ireland. Racing Post TV visited his yard to discuss his transition from riding to training, what he hopes to achieve and how he deals with being the son of one of the greatest trainers in the history of the sport.


Article thanks to At the Races – Stable Tour. 

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Gailo Chop Thrives in Return

Matthew Williams first knew Gailo Chop was firmly on the road to recovery when the veteran’s action was smooth and free when he worked him down on the beach at Warrnambool earlier this month.

His opinion was confirmed a short time later when the former French horse tried to dump him on the sand.

The Northern Hemisphere-bred Gailo Chop will be nine years old when he reappears in the spring in Melbourne. His form will read well – a last-start second to Winx in the 2018 Queen Elizabeth Stakes – as will his overall record of three Group 1 victories among 13 wins and more than $4.1 million in stakes.

But, for the horse’s connections, it is not so much about the past as they already know he’s a class galloper. It’s about whether the tendon injury has healed and whether the horse still wants to compete.

Williams, who is the horse’s new trainer, is confident on both fronts.

“He’s always been a little bit of a horse – we’ve seen a bit of him at the beach when Darren (Weir) had him – and it wasn‘t uncommon for him to drop a rider now and then and he’s got that about him,” Williams said on Friday.

“He doesn’t feel like an old horse to ride. There’s still a bit of spark about him so we’re confident that he’s still got it there.

“You are dealing with tendons so it’s always a day-to-day proposition, but he certainly looks good at the moment and he’s sound and well.”

Gailo Chop has had a long rehabilitation from his second tendon injury and Williams said the signs were as promising as they could be.

“His tendon scanned up really good about 10 days ago so he’s ready to take the next step,” he said.

“He’s been in work for quite a few months now. He’s done quite a bit of treadmill work early and water walker work and some trotting and cantering at the beach.

“He’s on a treadmill program to keep him nice and sound and get him ready for a Cox Plate.

“We’ll get him up to the stage where he’s ready to go to the track and probably have two or three nice course-proper gallops and then a couple of nice jumpouts and then, all being well, he’ll kick off in the Makybe Diva (Stakes).

“The plan could be the Makybe Diva, the Underwood and into the Cox Plate.”

Williams reported that the budding star of his team – the unbeaten Harbour Views – has gone for a spell and would return for a spring campaign that was likely to culminate in an attempt on the Ballarat Cup in mid-November.


Article by Andrew Eddy at 

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