Industry giant OTI Racing has come calling for Strathalbyn trainer Kristi Evans.
OTI Racing has transferred highly credentialled ex-overseas stayer King of Camelot into Evans’ care, searching for a key to unlock the horse’s best form, which has gone missing in Australia.
“It was pretty exciting to get a phone call from them,” Evans said.
“They can’t get the horse to fire over here and they said, ‘Look, we’ve heard about you and we want to see what you can do with this horse’.
“I’ve got a bit of a task, but they just want me to do my best, and see if I can work him out.”
By noted staying sire Camelot, King of Camelot arrived in Australia with strong overseas form, including two Group 3 placings in France over 1800m and 2400m. However, the now six-year-old gelding has been unable to recapture anything like that form on local shores, and has been tried with two Victorian trainers without success.
Evans said she was rapt her relatively small – but growing – stable was on OTI Racing’s radar.
“Yeah, it’s huge for us, for them to take notice of our horses racing,” she said.
“I’ve only got a team of 18 and want to keep it around that.
“But Terry Henderson (OTI Racing CEO) was really lovely on the phone. I just said, ‘Send him over, and I’ll see what I can do’.
“And they’re sending his colours too. How exciting is it going to be having a horse in our stable racing in those colours?”
King of Camelot arrived last Thursday week and Evans said she has “a few ideas” on how to unlock his potential.
“My vet is very clever and my motto is if you don’t get to the bottom of the problem there’s no point pushing on,” she said.
“That’s how I’ve turned (other) horses around. Get the horse happy again and wanting to be out there.”
Evans has been slowly building her team and has been preparing more metropolitan runners in recent times. She already has four winners this season, including two metropolitan winners.
Formed in 1999 by businessman Henderson and former Australian cricketer Simon O’Donnell, OTI Racing is now recognised as among the top suppliers of thoroughbred partnerships within Australian racing. Over the past 20 years, OTI has amassed over 100 black type wins, including 10 Group 1s.
IMAGE: OTI Racing