The time-honoured Andrew Ramsden Stakes over the famous Melbourne Cup distance, 3200M, is the highlight on a nine-race card at Flemington on Saturday. It promises to be a huge day for OTI with six runners spread across five races.
Aloisia makes her Australian debut for Ciaron Maher (Race, 1400M, 11.45am). This 2YO filly was acquired after two very good runs in New Zealand, the latest when second to a subsequent Group 1 place getter. She has trialled strongly at Cranbourne leading in to Saturday and should be most competitive. A daughter of Irish sire, Azamour, it’s hoped she will measure up to the better 3YO fillies’ races in the spring.
Gallic Chieftain resumed with a slashing third first-up during the Warrnambool Carnival. He came of age towards the end of last preparation with dominant wins at Pakenham and Morphettville. Relatively speaking, he’s a very young 4YO having being foaled in the Northern Hemisphere and it’s felt there’s improvement to come. He should be very hard to beat up to 1800M on Saturday (Race 3, 12.55pm).
Renew has had a new lease of life since switching to jumping. Unbeaten over the hurdles and a last start Galleywood Hurdle winner by a staggering nine-lengths, Renew will revert to the flat in the Andrew Ramsden Stakes (Race 6, 2.50pm). A winner of the 2014 Sandown Cup over the two-mile trip, it’s hoped his new jumping career will reinvigorate his flat track ability.
Master Zephyr tackles the 2000M Archer Hall Of Fame Trophy (Race 8, 4.10pm). Trained by the all-conquering Darren Weir, this 5YO gelding hit the line strongly at Morphettville and gets to a more suitable distance second-up. Ben Allen hops back aboard Master Zephyr for the first time since the duo ran a close second at Flemington in January.
The day rounds out with two very strong chances, Fastnet Latina and Kellstorm, set to do battle over a mile in race nine.
Fastnet Latina has done a tremendous job in his first Australian campaign with four wins from five starts. Trainer, Archie Alexander, reports the 4YO entire is in super order ahead of the weekend and he will again acquit himself very well.
Kellstorm’s first-up win at Warrnambool took most, including the Weir stable, by surprise. His lead-up trials had been moderate at best but the Irish 4YO really switched on come race day, producing a stellar win over 1400M. The step to a mile will only assist Kellstorm and the Weir stable continue to be impressed with his progress.
It’s a huge weekend for OTI and its partners. We wish all involved the very best with our six runners and hope to report on much success following Flemington on Saturday. Click here to view Saturday’s Flemington fields.