OTI Racing Weekend Preview

This weekend the navy and gold silks will be carried in Australia, France and the United Kingdom.

On Saturday at Caulfield, Gallic Chieftain and Haky will contest the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes over 2000m (Race 7 – 4:15 pm). The pair, who are trained by Archie Alexander, have both been working well in preparation for the race.

Gallic Chieftain, who will be ridden by star hoop Damian Lane, is in great form ahead of the race. Alexander commented that he is going as good as, if not better than, this time last year when he finished 4th in the race. With showers forecast for Melbourne, he will relish running on the softer ground and we’re expecting him to find the finish line strongly.

Alexander has also been happy with Haky’s recent work, commenting that his condition and fitness levels continue to improve each week. Despite drawing a tricky barrier, we’re expecting him to perform well with Declan Bates in the saddle.

In France, Schwanensee will debut in a 2400m 3yo Maiden at Mont-de-Marsan on Saturday (Race 8 – 10:30 pm AEST) with jockey Alejandro Gutierrez Val riding. Antoine de Watrigant has been patient with the three-year-old filly, who has developed physically under his care, and we’re looking forward to seeing her at the races.

On Sunday at Armidale, Au Pair will have her first start for up-and-coming trainer Will Freedman. She will contest a 1300m Maiden for Fillies & Mares (Race 3 – 2:15 pm) with Ben Looker booked to ride. Her recent work has pleased Freedman, who remarked that she did everything right in her trial. We’re anticipating that she’ll run well and will take great improvement from the first-up run.

In England, Tippler will race in a 2000m 3yo+ Class 5 at Chelmsford (Race 7 – 1:00 am AEST) for trainer Sir Mark Todd. Following a disappointing last start, we are hoping that the three-year-old has taken improvement from the run and will put in a competitive effort. Shane Kelly rides.

Best of luck to all OTI connections with runners this weekend!