OTI Cup hopefuls return to work

It’s almost the first of July, and our key hopefuls for this year’s Melbourne Cup have resumed full training. 

Over the last few months, most of our horses have been enjoying well-deserved spells. Others have been recovering from injuries in the hope that they can be there on that first Tuesday in November. 

Leading the local charge will be Selino, the impressive winner of the 2021 Sydney Cup. After a month of pre-training, he entered Chris Waller’s Rosehill stable this week to prepare for spring. Chris Waller’s initial targets for him will be either the Group One Metropolitan, the premier staying event of the Sydney Spring Racing Carnival, or the Group 3 Bart Cummings at Flemington. He will be on the cusp to gain immediate entry to the Cup, so hopefully, his emphatic win of the Sydney Cup earns him enough weight to gain entry.

In the chilly hills of Garfield, just beside Pakenham racecourse, Phillip Stokes has given Amade ‘half a holiday’ over this last couple of months. As the gelding is prone to putting on weight, Phillip has mixed slow sand work with swimming and water walking. This week, he, too, has moved this exciting stayer back to his Pakenham stable to commence full training.

Richard Freedman sees it as a personal challenge to get Young Rascal back into form since his last win in the Group 3 Manion Cup in April of 2020. Richard loves these sorts of challenges, and there is no one better to get the horse back to the form seen 18 months ago in Sydney. He could well be OTI’s ‘smokey’ for the spring.

Matt Cumani‘s two quality stayers, San Huberto and Future Score, are both recovering from injury. Both have done some light work with the plan that they will resume full training within the next month. Both are exciting types and could well win their way into Cup’s contention. 

San Huberto in the G2 Vicomtesse Vigier 2020

There are another ten or more OTI stayers that could well feature in the early lead-up races. All will have the chance to justify a spot in our top races. However, as we know from the past, it’s a long time between Melbourne Cup nominations and final acceptances, so luck needs to go their way. 

While the action is heating up locally, OTI’s European stayers are plying their trade in the hope of justifying a trip to Melbourne. This year logistics will be different as trainers wait for the specific information to enable a horse to travel.

OTI could have two or three internationals with our female queen, True Self, once again heading south. However, she and her companions will have to be at their best to match it with the locals this spring.