We welcome the new year and take time to reflect on the fantastic performances of the OTI horses throughout Europe, Australia and even the Middle East in what was an exciting year for their respective trainers and connections.
OTI rounded out 2018 with a record number of 515 runners. We raced in eight countries – Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Italy, France, Qatar and Scotland. From these runners, OTI achieved 37 Group and Listed performances, with 2 wins at Group 1 level. Add to that one Group 2 victory, three Group 3s and seven at Listed level.
Our most successful performer for the year was of course Galio Chop. He had a remarkable autumn under the guidance of trainer Darren Weir. He recorded wins at Group 1, 2 and 3 level, whilst also placing second in two Group 1s. His best performance may well have been one of those second placings, in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes when going down to the revered Winx in the height of her autumn campaign. His best winning performance was no doubt his three-length domination of the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes.
Gailo Chop winning the G1 Ranvet Stakes at Royal Randwick.
Vin de Dance showed himself to be a stayer of the future in 2018 and he was our other Group 1 winner. After placing a respectable third in the Group 2 Avondale Guineas, he took out the Group 1 New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie for his delighted owners. Many had made the trip from Australia to Auckland and did not leave disappointed. Vin de Dance was extremely unlucky not to add to his list of achievements during the Sydney Carnival. Finishing 2nd past the post in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas, he was unusually demoted to 4th on protest.
Vin de Dance and his connections after his G1 NZ Derby win.
While not adding to her Group 1 win in 2017, Aloisia continued to show herself to be a quality race mare in 2018. She placed third in the Group 1 Vinery Stud Stakes, third in the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes and second in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes and looks to have a promising 2019 ahead. The establishment of a racing base at Warwick Farm for the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace team will offer her significant opportunities in NSW coming into 2019.
Fastnet Tempest was ever consistent for the Lindsay Park training team in 2018, winning once at Listed level and placing on 4 other occasions in black-type affairs (one Group 3). We hope to see him take the next step in 2019 and to put his nose out in front on more occasions.
Fastnet Tempest winning the Listed Anniversary Vase at Caulfield.
Night’s Watch was one that did take the next step in the spring, culminating in a run in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup. In the lead-up to that race, he won the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes and finished third in the Group 2 Feehan Stakes.
Night’s Watch winning the G3 MRC Foundation Cup (Naturalism Stakes) at Caulfield.
Tom Melbourne maintained his second-place uniformity with three second places all at Group 2 level, including the Ajax Stakes, Hollindale Stakes and Tramway Stakes – going down by a combined total of less than two lengths. We are sure Tom’s big group win is just around the corner in 2019!
Our European based horses also continued to perform at a high level. Our best performer was the prolific Mr Satchmo, who had a thrilling year. He capped off three Listed victories in France with a bob of the head second placing in the Group 1 Qatar Derby. A horse on the rise, we are looking forward to seeing him contest the bigger races here in Australia – a Cox Plate may well be on the cards for him.
Watch Mr Satchmo’s emphatic win in the Derby Du Midi at Bordeaux below…
Other notable performers include Gallic Chieftain who won the Listed Warrnambool Cup and placed third in the Group 3 JRA Cup at Moonee Valley, as well as So Far Sokool winning the Listed Bendigo Guineas, providing herself some nice black type. Noblesse Oblige won the Group 3 Premio Dormello in Italy and Casterton, now in Australia, won twice at Listed level in France prior to his relocation.
Gallic Chieftain relishing in the wet to come out on top in the Listed Warranambool Cup.
We would like thank our owners, trainers and all those involved with OTI’s horses for their support throughout 2018 and look forward to seeing what 2019 holds!