OTI’s stakes contingent to watch this weekend

After a positive past week with plenty of stakes-class action, we’re looking to continue the good form with black-type runners worldwide over the Easter long weekend.

5-year-old gelding Hezashocka will kick things off at Rosehill on Saturday, taking his place in the Group 3 Neville Selwood Stakes over 2000m. Second up and stepping out in distance should suit him well, and he seems to be back to his old self at home. Just 12 months ago he was within 2.5 lengths of the winner in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes! Jamie Kah is booked to ride from barrier 11 in a field of 11.

After an afternoon tea break at Rosehill, we have Athabascan contesting the Group 1 Tancred Stakes over 2400m. Coming into the race third up after a fourth placing in the Group 3 Sky High Stakes last start, the gelding is ready to start hitting his straps, like he did third up last preparation. Although he’s drawn wide, it’s felt he’s better suited being ridden off the speed, so they will be the instructions to Tyler Schiller, who is enjoying the OTI silks in recent times.

OTI Racing & Bloodstock racehorse listed win, mid-race
Athabascan winning the Listed CTC Cup at Randwick last preparation.

Down in Victoria, at Flemington, we have three black-type runners, all competing in the Listed The Roy Higgins over 2600m. Whilst Selino and Daqiansweet Junior are both preparing for their grand final (the Sydney Cup) later in the preparation (and building to that very well!), visitor Mark Twain has travelled over for a hit and run mission as he tries to secure his ticket to the Melbourne Cup.

Arriving from New Zealand on Wednesday morning, Mark Twain is in terrific condition. In his last four runs this preparation, he has not been out of the placings whilst securing a win at Te Rapa and running a luckless 3rd in the Group 2 Auckland Cup. He is expected to be flashing home late on Saturday with Mick Dee aboard.

Mark Twain winning at Te Rapa (NZ) in February 2024.

Between the action at Rosehill and Flemington, we also have three Country Cup runners over the weekend in Belthil, Extra Elusive and Win O’Clock. Belthil is a double acceptor for the Warracknabeal Cup and the Country Trainers Final at Yarra Valley, whilst Extra Elusive has accepted for the Kerang Cup on Saturday and the Penola Cup on Sunday. Win O’Clock is scheduled to race in the Stawell Gold Cup on Sunday off the back of a freshen up.

On Saturday evening in Dubai, we’re excited to see Sevenna’s Knight in the Dubai Gold Cup (Race 3) over 3200m. The 4yo entire received a personal invitation for the race and arrived from France over the weekend. Having had a good look around the track, he appears to be in lovely order for Saturday’s assignment and will enjoy a strongly run two mile event.

Sevenna's Knight, a 3yo thoroughbred Camelot colt stretches out to win his Listed event at Deauville.
Sevenna’s Knight winning the Listed Prix Michel Houyvet at Deauville.

With plenty of global, metropolitan and country racing action this weekend, we are hopeful of celebrating a couple winners over the Easter break. Best of luck to all involved!