A recent addition to the OTI team, Shakopee, is a lightly-raced UK galloper that showed very good promise with Luca Cumani.
Now with Luca’s son, Matt, Shakopee is ready to make his Australian debut over 2000M at Mornington on Saturday (Race 3). Luca recommended the horse would benefit from Australian training conditions and OTI were keen to secure Matt as trainer of the gelding.
Shakopee produced a most dominant performance at Doncaster in July when charging home off a moderate tempo to win comfortably over 2066M. It was an eyebrow raising win and with his best days ahead of him OTI’s partners have reason to be excited about this gelding.
Shakopee brings winning form to Australia having won on the all-weather track at Wolverhampton prior to shipping out. His work since arriving has been pleasing and his summer coat came through shortly after arriving. The straight uphill track and relaxed environment at Ballarat have been ideal for this gelding.
In his most recent bit of serious work, Shakopee was impressive in company with last-start Flemington winner, Show A Star. He heads into Saturday’s Benchmark 90 assignment on the fresh side and, while he should be competitive, there’s plenty of improvement to come.