By Ray Hickson
How long a winning streak goes means little to trainer John O’Shea when it comes to the unbeaten Lost And Running but he’s confident the promising galloper can extend his run to five at Canterbury on Wednesday.
The four-year-old has been largely untroubled in winning all four starts to date, including his latest two in March, and moves a step closer to open company in the Vinery Stud Handicap (1100m) which is his toughest test to date in Benchmark 88 grade.
“I like winning, I think it is good for horse and owner and trainer,’’ O’Shea said.
“We’re not into (protecting winning runs). We’re just doing the right thing by the horse. To put them where the market says is their best chance.
"I’m a great believer in the influence of the market and their chance in a race.”
The market says Lost And Running is $1.80 favourite with TAB (on Tuesday) to make it five from five and give O’Shea the kind of problem every trainer wants – where to go next now he’s successfully made it through the grades.
What O’Shea does know is that Lost And running isn’t going to be limited to sprint trips and will ultimately appreciate roomier tracks than Canterbury so he’s pleased the gelding has drawn in the middle of the field and not on the inside.
“We had a progressionary program laid out for him,” he said.
“He’s very good, we’re really looking forward to getting him out a bit in trip and when he gets onto a bigger track he’ll be suited.
“We’ll see what happens after Wednesday, we have a few options and we’d like to get him into open company.”
Talented mare Fashchanel is back from a well needed freshen up with O’Shea hoping she can get back to her best in the Davali Thoroughbreds Handicap (1200m).
O’Shea said two tough runs for seconds to April Rain and the now Group 1 placed Harmony Rose worked against her in her failure at Warwick Farm a month ago but she showed in a recent trial she’s in the right frame of mind.
“I think it was the fact she had two hard runs in a row and she said to us ‘hey boys I might need a freshen up here’,’’ O’Shea said.
“She had those two hard runs in a row on wet tracks and she got no luck in running the other day at Warwick Farm. It was about trying to get freshness back in her legs and rejuvenate her and she seems to have bounced back well.”
Lost And Running wins at Kensington on March 25
A Queensland campaign is in the future for lightly raced three-year-old Mr Gee who returns in the Hyland Race Colours Handicap (1550m), alongside stablemate Sound Of Cannons, his first appearance since finishing fourth in the Group 3 Grand Prix at Eagle Farm back on Boxing Day.
The gelding was placed at the Canterbury 1550m in November before successive wins at Kembla and Hawkesbury and O’Shea expects a positive start to his campaign.
“I think he is a really nice progressive young stayer who likes to get his toe in the ground,’’ he said.
“He’s had a nice break, every time we have turned him out and come back in he’s improved and this time is no different.”