OTI Racing will be represented by a quarter of the field in the Listed Lord Mayor’s Cup at Rosehill, a significant but not unique achievement for the syndication and racehorse management company.
“We’ve had four in a Melbourne Cup, funnily enough,” said OTI’s director Terry Henderson.
“That was probably about four years ago. I think we finished about sixth, eighth, thirteenth and fifteenth or something, so it wasn’t particularly glorious.”
OTI will run early favourite and last-start JRA Plate winner Grey Lion, the Chris Waller-trained pair of Casterton and High Bridge and dour stayer Kellstorm, who is prepared by the newly created training partnership of brothers Richard and Michael Freedman.
Henderson agrees with early markets that Grey Lion is the clear pick of their quartet.
The horse was transferred to Matthew Smith at the start of his current campaign and has thrived in his new surrounds.
“What we find with a lot of these Europeans, you know they’re good horses when they come out but sometimes it takes a little while after they’ve arrived here for that to come out,” Henderson said.
“Sometimes it never comes out but most of the time it does, as long as you’re patient enough and give them time, and I think he might be symptomatic of that.”
Grey Lion is being prepared for a tilt at the Brisbane Cup and Smith says the horse has maintained his condition since his JRA Plate win and should appreciate being given a month between runs.
“His recovery was very good from Randwick, he’s had a trial in between to keep him up to the mark and I feel he’s pretty right again,” Smith said.
Henderson believes Kellstorm will be at his best over further than the 2000m of Saturday’s race while both Casterton and High Bridge are looking to bounce back to form.
Casterton was found to have a slight issue after he failed to beat a runner home in the Chairman’s Handicap at Randwick on April 6, won by OTI Racing’s Gallic Chieftan, but has overcome that and has pleased the Waller stable since.
Import High Bridge has struggled for form since his fourth in the Group One Metropolitan last spring but has been put over the jumps since his last-start failure, a ploy Henderson hopes might spark him back to his best form.
“Gallic Chieftan, who won the Chairmans up there for Archie Alexander, he had two jumping sessions the week before he went up to Sydney so it does do them the world of good,” Henderson said.