Beautiful Crown gelding Onthelookout is looking to continue their recent string of good runs in Sydney this Saturday, the Canberra raider seeking their second win this prep when they line-up in the $100,000 Listed Civic Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill.
Five-year-old Onthelookout showed their co-trainers Barbara Joseph and Paul Jones that they were ready for a black-type assignment after a strong win at Randwick’s Kensington track in the PJ Bell Country Cup (1400m) two starts back on June 13.
The Kensington win by Onthelookout was their first time back in the winner’s stall since August of 2010, and connections credit the removal of blinkers for the nice form turnaround.
“We took the blinkers off a couple of starts ago and it has done the trick in terms of getting him to settle,” Jones said.
Following their Cup victory, Onthelookout’s fifth career win from 30 starts that also includes an impressive 15 minor placings, the sprinter enjoyed another eye-catching run when coming within a length second to Little Surfer Girl in a 1350m Benchmark 90 at Rosehill last Saturday.
Backing up just a week later, Onthelookout will now seek their maiden stakes win in the Civic Stakes.
Due to be reunited with apprentice hoop Adam Hyeronimus, aboard for the PJ Bell Country Cup win but replaced by Tim Clark last start, Onthelookout enjoys a drop back in weight from 55.5kg to 53kg and will jump from barrier eight of 13.
The Civic Stakes will be only the second black-type race Onthelookout has contested, their first having produced a credible third behind Lebrechaun in the Listed The Tradies National Sprint (1400m) back at their home track at Canberra in March.
Joseph and Jones both believe that Onthelookout is well-suited to the Civic Stakes distance, the horse having shown a liking to a slightly longer trip with their three runs over 1400 metres producing a win, a second and a third.
“Up until this preparation he hadn’t gone beyond 1200 or 1300 metres,” Jones said.
Jones has named last Friday’s upset Takeover Target Stakes winner Title as the main danger to Onthelookout in the Civic Stakes.
“Title is obviously the horse to beat,” Jones said.
Onthelookout finished a close fourth, beaten out of third place by Joseph Pride’s four-year-old Title just a few starts ago over 1200m at Rosehill, less than a length separating the top four finishers in the race won by Khas Kura.
“If you go back three starts we finished fourth alongside him (Title) behind Khas Kura,” Jones said.
“Personally, I think that was his worst run this preparation.
“It was his last day in blinkers and that day he overraced but we’ve taken the blinkers off now.”
A good run by Onthelookout on Saturday and they will be nominated for the $100,000 Listed Winter Stakes over 1500 metres at Rosehill on July 16.
“We would have had to wait three weeks for the Winter Stakes and he would have been a bit fresh so we decided to go for this (the Civic Stakes),” Jones explained.
“If all goes well he’ll head to the Winter Stakes, we want to give him a chance over 1500 metres.”