By Ray Hickson
Could Lost And Running be the first dark horse for this year’s TAB Everest?
After the exciting four-year-old destroyed a strong Benchmark 88 field in the Fujitsu General Sprint (1200m), O’Shea declared the spring weight-for-age sprints within his reach – if he passes one final test this preparation.
While the word Everest wasn’t mentioned by O’Shea the pinnacle of the spring sprints is the TAB Everest, run over the Randwick 1200m on October 16, and Lost And Running finds himself on the $26 line after making it five from six and clocking 1:08.75 in his four length victory.
“He’s given the clock a good nudge today and Mac (James McDonald) just shut him down nice, gave him a nice easy time to the line,’’ O’Shea said.
“We have the utmost belief in this horse and every time we have asked the question of him he has delivered.”
O’Shea said the Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1300m) at Rosehill on May 15 is an important race from a spring perspective.
“I’m a great believer in history, Trekking won it and went on to make a really good horse and I think this horse is a serious WFA horse at 1200m-1400m,’’ he said.
“In what was a really good field he made them look second rate. I think if he was to win at Rosehill he would legitimately be a contender for the major sprint races in the spring.”
Trekking won the Luskin Star in 2019, he won the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap two starts later in the spring of that year ran third behind Yes Yes Yes in the TAB Everest.
He ran fourth behind Classique Legend in last year’s edition.
Lost And Running’s time was about 0.27 slower than the Group 3 Hall Mark Stakes over the 1200m so the gelding has a rung or two to climb, both to prove himself at the top level and attract a slot holder, but jockey James McDonald said it was very easy work.
And he dared to say Lost And Running reminds him a little of TAB Everest favourite Nature Strip – at least in the way he goes about his business.
“When he gets a high cruising speed like that, I’m not saying he’s anywhere near Nature Strip, he has that same sprinting style where he gets in a rhythm and he can demolish a field like that,’’ McDonald said.
“When I got into that rhythm from the 600m I was just coasting, it was like a trackwork gallop in the end.”
Meanwhile, Masked Crusader did his Everest aspirations no harm despite missing a place as favourite in the Group 1 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) on Saturday.
The gelding retained his position on the third line of TAB Everest betting at $8 after he ran fifth behind Kolding, clocking easily the fastest last 600m (32.81, Punter’s Intelligence) after coming from last.
Masked Crusader was secured for the Everest by the Max Whitby and Neil Werrett slot last week.