A busy weekend awaits OTI’s racing partners, with runners in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Overseas attention will be focused across France, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
At Caulfield, Selica (barrier 6) is set to run well in a 3yo Hcp over 1440m (R3 – 1:00pm). She found the line powerfully over the final 100m in restricted room at Moonee Valley last start.
Trainer Phillip Stokes is pleased with how the filly has come through the run and expects her to figure in the finish. Ben Thompson has been booked to ride.
Harbour Views (barrier 10) was a dominant winner over the 2040m circuit at Moonee Valley on June 13. In what was his first run over the distance, he put the race beyond doubt upon entering the straight.
Trainer Matt Williams identified Saturday’s assignment, a 2000m Handicap (Race 8 – 4:05pm) as a suitable race for the 5-year-old as he continues to improve his rating leading up to the spring.
At Doomben, Le Juge (barrier 5) returns to the scene of his G3 triumph two starts ago. He continues to thrive in Queensland and arrives into the G3 Premier’s Cup (R5 – 2:03pm) in fantastic order. Michael Cahill rides, as the 7-year-old looks to record another Group win this preparation.
Raffish (barrier 8) makes his debut at Ballarat on Sunday for Archie Alexander. The progressive 2-year-old races over 1400m (Race 3 – 1:05pm) and will take great benefit from the raceday experience.
Alexander is impressed by what he has seen from Raffish in his work over recent weeks. He believes the son of Free Eagle is a horse with above average ability that will continue to improve as he develops into his 3-year-old year.
Penshurst (barrier 10) recorded his first win in Australia at Grafton last start. Racing again at the track on Sunday (R7 – 4:20pm), he will be suited by the slight rise in distance to 2230m. New trainer Matthew Dunn feels he will prove hard to beat on the back of a confidence boosting victory.
Hopefully the recent successes in Europe will continue this weekend.
At Clairefontaine, possibly the prettiest track in France, Kloster will have his first start for OTI in a 1400m race on Friday evening (tonight). Purchased after his 2nd placing last start at the same track, the 3yo gelding is expected to be most competitive in a very strong maiden.
Also tonight (Friday), 3yo Iffraj gelding, Tippler, will compete over 1400m in a Class 5 at Lingfield. His trainer, Sir Mark Todd, is expecting this late developing type to benefit from the experience.
Eaglemont will have his first race start at the Curragh on Saturday in a maiden over 2000m. Joseph O’Brien trains this 3yo son of Camelot. Although he is expected to run well, he will be improved by the experience.
Finally, the feature of the weekend could well be True Self’s reappearance in Ireland. She is currently nominated for the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh over 2000m. Should she run she’ll be up against the best mares Ireland has to offer. A place in her first race back this preparation would meet our expectations.