New Zealand-bred gelding Lost And Running will begin his ascent towards the A$15 million The Everest (1200m) next month when he lines-up in the Gr.2 The Shorts (1100m) at Randwick on Saturday.
It will be the son of Per Incanto’s first run of the spring but trainer John O’Shea was pleased with his 1000m trial at Randwick last Friday where he finished runner-up behind Classique Legend.
“If you know where he is in terms of his fitness and preparation, you had to be happy. He came through it well and had a good day out,” O’Shea told SENTrack.
O’Shea is looking forward to Saturday with Lost And Running but expects his rivals to be a bit too sharp for his charge first-up.
“It is a pretty exciting week. It is a race with a fair bit of anticipation and enormous quality,” O’Shea said.
“We will be happy to blow out a few cobwebs and get close to them in the run. If we do that then we will know we are in the mix for later in the season.
“On Saturday they are probably going to be a bit sharp for him. He is not a genuine five and a half (furlong, 1100m) horse. He has won over five and a half (furlongs) against inferior opposition, but on Saturday he will be there bowling along at his leisure and let the race unfold in front of him.”
Lost And Running has accrued a formidable form line, having won six of his seven starts, and finished runner-up in his only other outing.
His ticket for The Everest was secured with his last start victory in the Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m), with O’Shea rating him the best sprinter he has had in his care.
“He is the best sprinter I have ever trained, but I haven’t trained a great deal of fast horses,” O’Shea said.
“Hopefully he can show that. But the best thing about him is that he will get better with each preparation.
“To be fair to the horse, this is all coming a bit soon for him but in the scheme of the opportunity to run in a race like this, it shouldn’t be denied.
“He is definitely worthy of his place in the race and if he can give a good account of himself this year, there is no doubting that the following season will probably give him a better chance of being successful.”
O’Shea is also looking forward to lining up fellow Kiwi-bred, Gr.1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) winner Lion’s Roar, in the Gr.1 George Main Stakes (1600m) on Saturday.
The son of Contributer beat just one horse home in the Gr.2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) at Randwick earlier this month, but that hasn’t fazed O’Shea, with the gelding having a perfect second-up record.
“He always bounces second-up at a mile at Randwick,” O’Shea said. “He has definitely got fitter from there and we are looking for a much-improved performance on Saturday.”
O’Shea also has his fingers-crossed weather will continue to improve in the lead-up to the weekend, with Lion’s Roar favouring a firm surface.
“He needs dry ground,” O’Shea said. “We have had a bit of rain in Sydney this week, but hopefully from now until Saturday we get good drying weather and the ground firms up for him. He is significantly better on top of the ground.”
O’Shea, in conjunction with good friend Jason Abrahams of Champion Thoroughbreds, purchased Lion’s Roar from the Book 2 draft of Bill Gleeson’s Wellfield Lodge for $65,000 at the 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling sale.
– NZ Racing Desk