The first part of a patient and painstaking plan to advertise Lost And Running as an Everest contender has come to fruition with the emerging star posting his most important win to date in the $140,000, Listed, Luskin Star Stakes at Rosehill. Now, trainer John O’Shea is hoping one of his pre-race suitors comes to the party and locks him in for a start in the $15 million showpiece.
“We had some lovely overtures before the race. I don’t think he’s disappointed anyone today and historically speaking, if you win this race you usually run well in an Everest, irrespective of the form,” O’Shea said.
“He ticks a lot of boxes. He gets through wet ground, he takes a position, he loves Randwick. So he’s the progressive horse on the way up.”
Starting a $1.40 favourite, Lost And Running took his record to six wins from seven starts, controlling the 1300m race from the front for Tommy Berry and flattening out over the final furlong to score by 2-1/4 lengths over True Detective, with Dealmaker another 1-1/4 lengths away.
Lost And Running wins the Luskin Star in a breeze, sportpix.com.au
O’Shea said the Luskin Star had been a campaign-long target as it was a proven Everest launchpad with several horses on the race’s honour roll going on to contest the feature sprint, including Godolphin duo Osborne Bulls and Trekking.
“This is the race we wanted to win at the start of the prep,” O’Shea said.
“He’s got a tremendous record hasn’t he, and to be fair, he probably should be unbeaten.
“He will definitely be in the paddock on Monday and then we would like to secure a position in The Everest with a view that we could concentrate on preparing him for that race.”
O’Shea already regards the gelding as the best sprinter he has trained and he could easily have been tempted to test the waters during the Sydney autumn carnival, but said he took a softer route because the horse was still learning. He believes Lost And Running will be better again next season as the progeny of his sire, Per Incanto, are traditionally late to mature.
“It has all been about learning to execute his race plan and you see the last two times it has just been perfect,” O’Shea said.
“Today, he was on the downhill side but he was still good enough to beat them, and when I say downhill side I mean the downhill side of his preparation.
“Next time he comes up he will go into the Everest third up and he’ll peak on the day.”
Lost And Running firmed from $21 into $13 in TAB fixed odds Everest markets after Saturday’s win.