True Self set for Group 1 Caulfield Cup

True Self will be OTI’s first international runner for the Spring Carnival when she contests the Group 1 Caulfield Cup on Saturday.

The seven-year-old mare has made the field for Willie Mullins and will be ridden by Declan Bates from barrier 4.

True Self has never raced at Caulfield but has an excellent record in her two starts in Australia. During the spring of 2019, she finished 2nd in the Group 3 Geelong Cup behind Prince Of Arran, before winning the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Flemington.

While she has not won since her Queen Elizabeth victory last year, she has contested strong events and has lacked luck in her runs. In her most recent start in the Ebor Handicap at York in August, she missed the start by over ten lengths and her chances were gone.

OTI’s General Manager Shayne Driscoll said they were putting a line through the Ebor run and anticipated she would bounce back to winning form for the Spring Carnival.

“Her thrilling performances last year show us that she relishes running in Melbourne and the word from Willie’s team is that she has settled into Werribee well and has been working superbly,” Driscoll said.

“Whilst this year’s Caulfield Cup is an extremely competitive edition, we’re going into the race with the knowledge that she has the ability to be in the finish from a favourable barrier draw,” he added.

With owners unable to attend the race and Willie Mullins forced to remain in Ireland due to COVID-19, OTI has looked to connect owners and trainers virtually.

“We’re hosting a Zoom meeting on Friday night with the connections and will dial Willie Mullins in from Ireland and David Casey in from Werribee. It’s as close as we can get to the pre-race Mounting Yard experience at the moment!” Driscoll added.

OTI’s other international Cup’s contender, San Huberto is currently the second emergency in the race. The French Group 2 winner, who is trained by Fabrice Chappet but is presently under the care of Matt Cumani in Australia, will head to the Group 3 Geelong Cup should he not make the field.

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Unbeaten son of Le Havre set for race return

Montabot will look to defend his unbeaten record when he returns to the races on Sunday.

The four-year-old son of Le Havre will contest a Class 4 race over 2350m (Race 1 – 11:00 pm Sunday AEST) at Le Pin-au-Haras, France.

The OTI team are thrilled to see Montabot back at the track, and OTI’s General Manager Shayne Driscoll commented that they expect him to run a strong race to make it three out of three.

“He’s had some time off, but we’re hoping he’ll bounce right back into form and find the exceptional turn of foot that we saw early in his career,” he said.

Montabot was regarded as a rising star in France before a stress fracture temporarily halted his career. Following a spell, the gelding made a full recovery under the attentive care of Chantilly trainer Pascal Bary.

OTI’s European Representative John Hammond said that the time off has allowed Montabot to furnish into himself.

“He has returned a stronger, more mature horse with a free-flowing stride. He has all the hallmarks of a real quality animal, and I look forward to seeing him realise his full potential that we know is there,” he commented.

OTI secured Montabot in 2019 after he kicked off his career with two impressive victories.

In his first start at Longchamp over 2100m, he showcased his excellent turn of foot when he steamed home and recorded outstanding sectionals.

His athletic abilities were reinforced in his second-up run at Saint Cloud over 2400m, where he again finished off powerfully to beat the field home.

It was these superb performances, combined with his superior pedigree that appealed to OTI.

The gelding is beautifully bred, by Le Havre out of Salamon (by Montjeu) – a perfect pedigree for middle-distance and staying types. 

Ownership opportunities in this promising stayer remain for wholesale clients.

For more information on Montabot and wholesale client requirements, please email

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The OTI Gazette – Issue No. 29

In this week’s Gazette we chat to Australia’s most astute tipster, Deane Lester, about his love of horses, what gives him an edge when doing form, and his thoughts on the 2020 Spring Carnival.

Plus, we look at how Aidan O’Brien protected both his and the industry’s integrity standards by scratching his horses last weekend, and John Berry recounts how past Epsom Derby winners have fared when travelling to Australia for the Spring.

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