Trainer John O’Shea is bullish about the chances of Lost And Running going into the $15 million The Everest at Randwick on Saturday.
Lost And running, the only non-Australian bred runner in the contest, will jump from barrier two with Hugh Bowman in the saddle and O’Shea is clearly enjoying the prospect of being competitive in a race of The Everest’s stature … both in pure racing terms as well as its connection to the Australian racing public.
“That (connection) is the key to this race,” said O’Shea, speaking to Sky Racing at The Everest barrier draw. “That’s where other races have fallen by the wayside or lost notoriety because people don’t understand the form with all the internationals coming down but, with this race … everybody has been following all of the horses for twelve months.
‘They know every inch of every horse. There are only twelve runners which lends itself to people gaining a greater understanding of what it going on with the form.”
And O’Shea feels his runner’s form is certainly worth due recognition.
“Look, to be fair to Lost And Running, you would love to have another twelve months under our belt, but the nature of this race means you’ve got to take your opportunity to run when it presents itself and the opportunity has presented itself.
“I’ve had the luxury of having a spot in the race early. We could just go along steadily and prepare the horse to be at his best on the day.
“He is going to be very competitive. He had a lovely foundation run in the Premiere. He has bounced off that tremendously well and he is going to map perfectly in the race. He’ll do everything right and give himself every chance to be in the finish.
“I can tell you … don’t undersell him!
“Apart from his first up run where nothing went his way on a track that didn’t suit (when unplaced in The Shorts), everything has been perfect and he will present in the yard on Saturday ready to run the race of his life.”
O’Shea was happy to dismiss Lost And running’s first-up run in The Shorts and said there was plenty of positives to be taken out of his second-up in The Premiere when finishing 1.40 lengths behind Masked Crusader.
“In the first-up run we had some excuses, but we didn’t execute well and probably got what we deserved,” continued O’Shea. “We executed better second-up.
“I’ve always felt that Masked Crusader (who won The Premiere) was one of the main chances. He beat us a length-and-a-half and we had good improvement, as did he. We are going to have to find a couple of lengths because you know at some stage you are going to have to hold him off to win the race … and I’m sure we can do that.
“It’s very exciting. We’re grateful for the opportunity to run in The Everest.
“You know, this is how big this race is … just to run in it is an achievement. To run well in it would be another achievement and it win it … well, that is just something else.”