A busy Saturday for OTI runners with a number of horses contesting some strong fields in Group and Listed contests.
At Flemington, Romancer heads into the Listed Sofitel over 1400m in fine form, having had three weeks between runs. He is race fit and flying this preparation under the care of Grahame Begg, so we hope to see him figuring in the finish. Apprentice Lochie King takes the ride after beautifully piloting the horse in his recent top three placings.
Joining Romancer on course at Flemington is Gailo Chop and Night’s Watch in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes over 1600m. Gailo Chop is returning to the races for the first time in 16 months and despite lacking match-day fitness is set and raring to join the strong field. Night’s Watch will look to go back in running as a result of his wide barrier draw, and work home for Damien Oliver. A significant step up in grade, we hope to see the horse finishing off strongly.
Below: Romancer and Lochie King.
Tom Melbourne makes his track return this campaign after scratching last weekend due to the very wide draw. The Group 2 Theo Marks Stakes over the 1300m might play a little short for him, but with genuine speed we should see him maintain his bridesmaid status and run a sneaky second place!
Also running on Saturday at Echuca is Trent Busuttin and Natalie young trained Au Pair. This staying filly by Shocking has come on well this preparation and is looking to break her maiden over the 1600m. In Queensland, Savvy Acquisition is stepping out in the 1800m Class 1 and in coming back in distance we should see him up on the speed and finishing off well.
On Sunday, we turn to Geelong where Urban Lumberjack represents the Mitch Freedman stable in the BM64 over 1518m. A horse who has gained some nice form since his arrival in Australia. Mitch has selected the perfect target given the current acceptances. We are looking forward to seeing him perform well.
Below: Urban Lumberjack wins his first Australian start.
Etna is heading to Mt Gambier for the 2050m BM64 for Aaron Purcell and the team. He looks like he is back to his best form after a cracking second-place run at Warrnambool last start. This step-up in distance will suit and he looks a strong chance.
Best of luck to everyone involved in the OTI runners this weekend!