Weekend Treble for OTI 

Early Saturday morning proved to be a successful one with Downdraft running out an easy winner of the LMFM Race over 2400m at Dundalk, Ireland. He scored well under jockey Donnacha O’Brien for his brother and trainer Joseph.

Successful three times last year, Downdraft was last seen winning at Naas in October, and was expected to follow this up, going off a clear favourite at 1/3. Settled in third, he cruised through the small field of four to challenge on the inner from early in the straight. Getting out to the front with over 200m to race and stretched clear in the closing stages, going on to prevail by four lengths.

Donnacha O’Brien said afterwards: “He’s a grand, little horse and skips along that surface. It worked out nicely as the horse that made the running went nice and even for him. It was a lovely race to start off in.  “That’s what you’d be hoping (to go for a premier handicap). I think he had a little blowout down the back, so probably fitness-wise there is a bit more improvement in him.”

We have high hopes for this horse leading into the spring 2019 European season with Royal Ascot on the cards for the son of Camelot.

To Flemington in Australia, OTI scored a double at headquarters after first surviving a protest against Fastnet Tempest, who crossed the line leading the field in the Might and Power Handicap over 1410m.  Champion trainer David Hayes says he has had to be patient with import Fastnet Tempest and had to wait just a bit longer before the gelding was actually confirmed as the winner.

Fastnet Tempest hit the front passing the 200m and defeated Addictive Nature by a half-head, with Addictive Nature’s jockey Brett Prebble then firing in a protest alleging interference over the concluding stages.

After a deliberation, stewards ruled that even though there was some interference in the final 100m, had that not occurred, Fastnet Tempest still would have finished in front of the runner-up and dismissed the objection.

Fastnet Tempest had not won since the Listed Anniversary Vase at Caulfield in April last year but had placed five times at Listed and Group level since.

“I’ve had to be really patient with him,” Hayes said. “He’s got a great turn of foot, it’s just a matter of timing your run. “He still got there probably a fraction early today, believe it or not. But he was good enough to hang on.”

To round out the day, Mantastic, trained by Chris Waller took victory in the Australian Trainer’s Association Handicap. From the wide draw, Craig Newitt was instructed to drop to the rear of the field and let the horse settle. Finding a lovely rhythm, Mantastic began to edge closer to the outside horses under his own steam and managed to find a horse to give him good drag into the final turn.

Being patient upon straightening, Newitt unleashed Mantastic’s incredible turn of foot and let down strongly to capture the leaders and the win with 1.25 lengths to spare. Recording sub 12-second sectionals from the 800m mark, Mantastic proved he is in fine form and ready to step up to the 2000m.

Congratulations to each of their connections and patience in getting these horses to their winning ways. Onward and upward for the remainder of their campaigns!

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Little Time to Breathe After ‘The Bool’

Downdraft is our first runner for the weekend with an early morning start at Dundalk in Ireland. The race is due to air at 3:30am Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) and his owners are looking forward to seeing their last start winner hit the track to kick off his spring campaign in Europe. Trainer Joseph O’Brien is pleased with the horse’s progress over the winter and feels the race is an ideal starting point. Downdraft ended last season in impressive fashion so we hope to see an even better four-year-old!

To the Gold Coast in Queensland on Saturday, another last-start winner for OTI takes on the BM75 over 1800m. Tucano showed his brilliant turn of foot at Sunshine Coast a fortnight ago when winning well in the heavy 8 rated track. Trainer Tony Haydon has said the horse came out of the race well, has really thrived this preparation and oozes confidence. Luke Tarrant again partners with Tucano and the step up in distance this start should prove advantageous.

Below: Tucano winning his last start at Sunshine Coast.

To the Living Legends Day at Flemington, we kick off a day of racing with Fastnet Tempest in the ‘Might and Power’ Handicap over 1400m. The Lindsay Park training team have the horse well placed and he jumps from barrier four to place him in an ideal position in running. New apprentice Blaike McDougall takes the ride and claims 2kgs. After his strong third place in the G3 Victoria Handicap last start, a similar finish will see him right in the finish.

Serenade the Stars also heads to Flemington on Saturday for the ‘Brew’ Handicap and the Gelagotis Racing team. After a disappointing start this preparation, we are looking to see a turn-around in form from Serenade the Stars. A rise in distance to the 2600m may just work in his favour, so we hope to see an improved effort.

Mantastic rounds out OTI’s day at Flemington in the 1800m Handicap. Over this distance, trainer Chris Waller believes Mantastic will be best suited to being ridden from the back of the field due his wide barrier draw. A horse that finishes off his races well if the pace in the race is right, we hope to see him closing strongly. Having come through his fifth place on ANZAC Day without any problems, he is progressing nicely this campaign.

Below: Mantastic working home to win at Caulfield.

Inverloch heads to Morphettville for Oaks Day to contest the BM90 over 2000m. On a big track that Inverloch will appreciate, he hasn’t missed a beat since his last start a fortnight ago. Stripping fitter this run, he travelled to Adelaide overnight and has settled in well. We are looking forward to seeing a strong performance with the step up in distance. Trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young believe he has improved greatly from his last run and will give the race a good shake-up.

Miss Carboni heads to Bendigo on Sunday for her first-up run this preparation. A last start maiden winner, she looks to have strengthened up nicely with a short spell and is ready to take on some better quality races this campaign. A horse that can get a little hot in her track work, trainer Archie Alexander has been able to find the key to keeping her relaxed, yet focused in getting her fit, so we hope to see a nice performance.

Above: Miss Carboni winning her maiden.


Best of luck to their connections and happy racing!

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Harbour Views Lands Career Debut

Harbour Views’ long and colourful journey to his racetrack debut enjoyed the perfect ending when the French import landed an almighty betting plunge to win the Warrnambool Locksmiths Maiden Plate (1400m).

His supporters had their moments, however, as he drifted back off the pace before unleashing a big sprint in the straight to tip out the second favourite, Shamal Lass.

Trainer Matthew Williams was riding the emotion of the race also as he’s long-planned the debut of the rising five-year-old.

“He settled nicely in the run but just from the half-mile onwards it started to get a bit sticky there and when they got to the corner I thought ‘Oh god, we’re in an awful spot here’,” Williams said.

“But the big plus for this horse and why I think he’s going to go through his grades and win a good race somewhere is that he’s got a great change-up gear and he was able to bring himself into the race.

“Once he’s had a bit of racing and once he learns a bit more, I can’t wait to see him over 2000 metres one day but whether that’s next prep, we’ll see.”

Not all was as rosy with the horse when he was in France, according to Terry Henderson, whose OTI Racing part-owns the impressive galloper.

“Luca Cumani bought him as a yearling package for us and he really had a mixed start to his career,” Henderson explained.

“We got a call one day to say he was going to the Newmarket hospital to be put down because he pulled a muscle but they thought he’d broken a leg.

“It’s a great credit to my partners in this horse because they allowed me to bring him out as an unraced horse, which is a bit of a risk.

“I really do think that he’s got the makings of a good horse. Maybe not the spring, but next autumn.”

Henderson said the owners didn’t only nearly lose the horse to an untimely death.

“It was Luca’s staff that told me he was something special because Luca had put him in a horses-in-training sale and I said ‘pull him out’ as the boys back there were saying they thought he was pretty good,” Henderson added.

Article by Andrew Eddy (

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