OTI Racing could have up to four runners in Saturday’s $300,000 Group 3 Lexus Hotham Handicap (2500m) as they attempt to have a runner in this year’s Melbourne Cup.
OTI-managed horses Downdraft (27th) and True Self (29th) are positioned on the fringe of the 24-horse Melbourne Cup field, with the Hotham winner to gain ballot-free exemption for the Cup.
OTI Racing’s managing director Terry Henderson told Racing.com on Tuesday that Downdraft will be accepted for the $300,000 Hotham, for which he has been allocated topweight with 59kg.
“After speaking with trainer Joseph O’Brien, Downdraft will be in the field for the Lexus (Hotham Handicap) and we will then withdraw him if necessary,” Henderson said.
True Self will not race again before the Melbourne Cup. The Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old Northern Hemisphere mare will run in either the G1 Seppelt Mackinnon Stakes (2000m), G2 TAB Matriarch Stakes (2000m) or G3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) on November 9 should she not gain entry into the Cup field on November 5.
The OTI-owned trio of Gallic Chieftain (Archie Alexander), Haky (John Hammond) and Azuro (Ciaron Maher and David Eustace) are all likely acceptors for the Lexus Hotham Handicap where only victory will be enough to see them gain a spot in the Melbourne Cup field.