A year after an up-and-down spring culminated with a bold fourth in the A$15 million The Everest (1200m), Saturday’s Gr.2 Bisley Workwear Premiere Stakes (1200m) has given Lost And Running (Per Incanto / Dreamlife) a very different build-up to the world’s richest turf race.
The New Zealand-bred son of Per Incanto prevailed in a thrilling finish to Saturday’s A$1 million feature at Randwick, which was the final dress rehearsal for The Everest on October 15.
The lucrative sprint showpiece will be the third start of the spring for Lost And Running, who resumed with an eye-catching third in the Gr.2 The Shorts (1100m) before Saturday’s second-up win. The TAB now rates him a $6 second favourite for The Everest behind defending champion Nature Strip ($2.10).
It could hardly be more different to 12 months ago, when Lost And Running started the spring as the winner of six of his seven starts and one of Australia’s brightest sprinting prospects. His stocks fell with defeats in his two Everest lead-ups, finishing eighth in The Shorts and fourth in the Premiere Stakes.
Lost And Running blew out to be one of the outsiders for The Everest at $41, but turned things around in style with an outstanding fourth behind Nature Strip, Masked Crusader and Eduardo.
“It’s going a lot better this time around, but it wouldn’t be hard to be going better than last year,” trainer John O’Shea said. “He ran fourth in The Everest last year, but that performance was coming out of oblivion and off the canvas.
“It was a super win today and he’s going to come on so much for that. We can go into the big race in a couple of weeks with our tail in the air. It’s just exciting to have a horse in a race like an Everest that’s a chance.”
Sent out as a $2.25 favourite in Saturday’s Premiere Stakes, Lost And Running sat in fifth spot before jockey Hugh Bowman presented him out wide on the track at the top of the home straight.
He bounded to the lead with 250m remaining, but then faced a fresh challenge as Mazu, Masked Crusader and Kementari lunged at him on his inside. But Lost And Running held them all at bay and scored by a short neck.
“Although I went earlier than I would’ve liked, I just wanted to take luck out of it,” Bowman said. “He quickened up and did everything I knew he would do. He was feeling the pinch late, no doubt about it. But I was supremely confident going into the race, and he’s going to improve again off this into The Everest.
“He’s really on track for it this year. He’s got the benefit of having been through the series last year, where he ultimately ran fourth in the main event. This year things are going a lot better for him and he’s a more mature individual.”
From 16 career starts, Lost And Running has now recorded nine wins and three placings, earning just under A$3 million in stakes.
Lost And Running was bred by JML Bloodstock’s Lib Petagna and raised at Blandford Lodge in Matamata. Petagna retains an interest in the six-year-old gelding, who races in the colours of Carl Holt, with partners including Frank and Christine Cook and O’Shea’s wife Isabel.
One of 24 individual stakes winners by high-flying Little Avondale Stud stallion Per Incanto, Lost And Running is the only foal to race out of the Danroad mare Dreamlife, a sibling to stakes winners Kiss Me Ketut, Fast Love and A Chance To Dream.
– NZ Racing Desk