OTI Racing | Weekend Preview | November 4, 2022

With the Melbourne Cup Spring Carnival coming to an end, our main focus is again on I’m Thunderstruck, but also on Hezashocka, who will both compete in the Group 1 Champions Stakes at Flemington on Saturday. We also have a few Australian debuts on the agenda with Longvillers stepping out in the $2m Five Diamonds at Rosehill and Chicago Bear hitting the track at Flemington.

Saturday, November 5

Flemington

Current Track Rating: Soft

Chicago Bear

Chicago Bear makes his Australian debut on Saturday on the back of two impressive Cranbourne trials. The Irish-import has done everything right so far in his first preparation with the Busuttin & Young team, so we are looking forward to seeing him kick off his campaign. Hopefully, Craig Williams is able to slot him in from the wide alley and we can see him working home strongly late.

Race 1 – 12:40pm | 1600m BM90 | T: Natalie Young & Trent Busuttin | J: Craig Williams 54kg | Barrier 15 | Saddlecloth 10

Chicago Bear winning in Leopardstown

Aesop

Aesop will look to bounce back on Saturday after coming out of his last run with genuine excuses. Phillip Stokes has been happy with the gelding’s work in the lead up to Saturday, so we expect him to perform well on a track that should be to his liking.

Race 2 – 1:15pm | 2000m BM80 | T: Phillip Stokes | J: Ms Jamie Kah 58kg | Barrier 11 | Saddlecloth 8

Aesop (IRE) ridden by Jamie Kah wins the Senet Gambling Law Experts Handicap at Ladbrokes Park Hillside Racecourse on September 25, 2022 in Springvale, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Racing Photos)

San Huberto

San Huberto put in an improved performance last start and looks ready to peak at Flemington. Matt Cumani has been happy with the way the entire has trained on and a forward showing would not shock on Saturday.

Race 4 – 2:30pm | 2600m Group 3 Queen’s Cup | T: Matt Cumani | J: John Allen 55.5kg | Barrier 9 | Saddlecloth 7

San Huberto in the G2 Vicomtesse Vigier 2020
San Huberto winning the Group 2 Vicomtesse Vigier at Chantilly, France in June 2020

Hezashocka

Hezashocka was terrific last Saturday in the Rosehill Gold Cup, where he was quite unlucky not to win. There’s no doubt this is a very tough task at Group 1, WFA level but he’s racing in very good form. Hopefully there is still some sting out of the track come Saturday, which will aid his chances. A top four finish would be a great result.

Race 8 – 5:10pm | 2000m Group 1 Champions Stakes | T: Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr | J: Damien Oliver 59kg | Barrier 2 | Saddlecloth 5

Hezashocka (NZ) ridden by Patrick Moloney wins the 2022 Lexus Melbourne Cup Tour Handicap at Flemington Racecourse on May 14, 2022 in Flemington, Australia. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

I’m Thunderstruck

I’m Thunderstruck will be out for revenge on Saturday following his brilliant second to Anamoe in the Cox Plate. He came through that run in top shape and is sure to appreciate getting back to Flemington. With some more luck in running, we are hopeful that he can turn the tables on the Godolphin star.

Race 8 – 5:10pm | 2000m Group 1 Champions Stakes | T: Mick Price & Michael Kent Jnr | J: Mark Zahra 59kg | Barrier 8 | Saddlecloth 1

I’m Thunderstruck (NZ) ridden by Mark Zahra wins the PFD Food Services Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington Racecourse on September 10, 2022 in Flemington, Australia. (Photo by Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

Rosehill

Current Track Rating: Good

Sound of Cannons

Sound of Cannons took a step in the right direction last time out when 3rd and is now getting towards peak fitness. He’s an older gelding that has carried plenty of condition this campaign, therefore has taken a while to hit his straps. With a low weight and his mind on the task at hand, he is capable of mixing it in this company based off past form, but he will need to find a few lengths to be winning.

Race 3 – 1:35pm | 2400m BM78 | T: John O’Shea | J: William Pike 53kg | Barrier 6 | Saddlecloth 10

Sound Of Cannons winning at Sandown in May 2022

Longvillers

Longvillers is a lovely looking son of Le Havre who has been working particularly well in quarantine. Unfortunately, having drawn the widest alley and facing a surface slightly firmer than ideal, his task is made that little bit harder. Jason is likely to take the entire back in running, so hopefully we see a solid tempo up front to bring us into the race.

Race 8 – 4:50pm | 1800m Five Diamonds | T: Chris Waller | J: Jason Collett 56kg | Barrier 13 | Saddlecloth 8

Longvillers winning at Chantilly, France in September 2021

Wyong

Current Track Rating: Good

Principessa

Principessa’s chances were dashed when slowly away at Gosford last time, in a performance we’re putting a line through. She appears ready for the rise in trip, and has shown enough early speed to suggest she can be on speed from the inside barrier. She’s a talented mare who we’ve always thought a lot of, so we’d love to see her being ultra competitive in this Class 1 before the bar is raised.

Race 5 – 3:55pm | 1350m Class 1 | T: Joseph Pride | J: Ms Alysha Collett 57.5kg | Barrier 1 | Saddlecloth 5

Principessa winning at Kembla Grange in October 2022

Best of luck to all connections!