The first Group race at Royal Randwick on Saturday was taken out by Lost And Running in what was a terrific edition of the Group 3 Southern Cross Stakes (1200m).
With the scratching of his stablemate, Quantico, on Friday, Lost And Running started $2 across the three totes and proved far too good, defeating a game Overpass and Standout.
The five-year-old gelding was given a terrific ride by Hugh Bowman, who settled the even-money favourite fourth, behind Embracer, Overpass and Ashman who ensured it was a genuinely run 1200m affair.
Bowman put his mount into the three-wide line at the top of the straight, which was a winning move, as the John O’Shea-trained gelding cruised through his gears to win comfortably in his first run back for the Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Lost And Running is back with a BANG! 💥
— SKY Racing (@SkyRacingAU) February 12, 2022
“We had him a little bit further forward this time, because he’s going to run in a Group One in three weeks’ time,” O’Shea said.
“We really want to give him an opportunity to win a race of that calibre, because we think he’s deserved of it.
“We’ll turn up here in three weeks’ time and he’ll be a fit racehorse and ready to give a good account of himself.”
The Group One race that O’Shea speaks of is the Canterbury Stakes (1300m), which will be run at Royal Randwick on March 5, where a clash with Zaaki beckons.
Lost And Running had a terrific spring, running fourth in The Everest, before running second to Eduardo in the Classique Legend Stakes, and then bolting in to win the $1 million The Hunter at Newcastle on November 13.
The son of Per Incanto has won over $2 million in prizemoney, but that could easily double by the end of the autumn, given how well he has come on during his break.
“I think he learnt a lot,” the winning trainer said.
“I’ve just been conscious to be very steady with him and let him learn his craft on the run.
“As he got to 10 starts, you can expect him to execute better, which he’s doing at the moment.
“He’s probably a little fresh today, but luckily they went on a good gallop and Hugh was able to give him a lovely drop on them and he did the rest.”
Lost And Running has now had 13 starts for eight wins and two second, which sees him up build a resume that could see him become the best sprinter in the country in the near future.