An international presence awaits OTI and our partners this weekend.
As always, attention will be focused on both sides of the Tasman before eyes move to a million dollar race in Qatar.
Vee Cece (barrier six) was a most impressive winner on debut for OTI before an unlucky second placing in a Listed race at Tauherenikau last start. She has continued to please co-trainer Andrew Forsman, who is taking the mare through her grades gradually.
Craig Grylls (55kg) will take the ride on Saturday in a 1600m BM82 (Race 2 – 11:00am AEDT, 1:00pm local) and with even luck we expect her to be prominent in the finish.
Caulfield hosts a marquee day of racing and we saddle up Future Score (barrier four) and Inverloch (barrier two) in a 2000m Handicap (Race 1 – 12:35pm AEDT).
Future Score (Craig Williams) has been given a freshen-up over the past few weeks since his last run at Flemington on January 11, and his work leading in suggests he is there to run well from the favourable draw.
Inverloch will again have the services of Linda Meech after she rode first up in Carlyon Cup at the same track two weeks ago. Whilst progressing nicely, he is likely to need the run and will take great benefit from the 2000m contest.
Le Juge (barrier four) has been racing consistently in Queensland in recent months and trainer Chris Waller has made the decision to bring him down to Sydney for the Listed Parramatta Cup over 1900m at Rosehill (Race 6 – 3:50pm AEDT). He will be partnered by Brenton Avdulla for the first time.
A highlight for our partners will take place at Al Rayyan Racecourse in Doha, Qatar. Mr Satchmo will carry the OTI colours in the US$1M H.H The Amir Trophy over 2400m (12:15am AEDT – Sunday).
Mr Satchmo has drawn barrier two in the high-quality weight-for-age affair and will be ridden by leading French jockey, Mickael Barzalona.
Mr Satchmo has taken to foreign surroundings well since arriving in Qatar from France earlier this week. Trainer Antoine de Watrigant has given the horse a solid grounding in readiness after he was last seen winning the Listed Grand Prix de Marseille at Marseille Borely in November last year.
An exciting future is in store for the lightly raced five-year-old gelding and we are confident he will run up to the level we know him capable of.
Good luck to all of our connections with their racing interests this weekend.