Lost And Running takes out The Hunter at Newcastle

Connections of Lost And Running are already daring to dream of another Everest bid after the rising talent rounded out a bright spring with victory in the $1 million The Hunter.

In what has been a preparation designed to season the five-year-old against the country’s best sprinters, Lost And Running has continued to perform admirably, posting successive fourths in the Premiere Stakes and The Everest before a fine second to Eduardo in the Classique Legend Stakes.

Trainer John O’Shea suspected the horse had another good run in him, so he pressed on to Saturday’s The Hunter (1300m) at Newcastle and his faith was rewarded.

“When we got home after the Classique Legend, he put on five kilos, so I said, ‘buggered if you need to go to the paddock’,” O’Shea said.

“So we thought we had better give him another run.

“You could see today he has made improvement from the Classique Legend and raced accordingly.”

Neither the gelding’s 59kg topweight nor a wide draw held any concern for jockey Hugh Bowman, who like O’Shea was confident he was aboard the best horse in Saturday’s race.

He used the gelding’s natural gate speed to take up a handy position and when he asked for an effort at the top of the straight, Lost And Running ($2.50 fav) speared clear to score by 1-1/4 lengths over Wandabaa ($41), whose trainer Kris Lees had to settle for second for the third year in a row.

European import Top Ranked ($4.20) ran his race in patches and finished third, another half-length away.

“We were ultra-confident here today and the draw, in fact, didn’t worry me too much, especially with that big headwind once I got here today. He’s a horse that likes room,” Bowman said.

“As I turned for home, he looked under pressure but once he balanced up and changed legs, he just extended away and he won with the authority that we expected him to.

“He is a very exciting horse for next year.”

O’Shea confirmed Lost And Running would be spelled and given a light autumn with the Canterbury and All Aged Stakes among the races on his radar.

“Then we will put him away and get ready for The Everest again,” O’Shea said.

James McDonald was encouraged by the effort of Top Ranked at his first Australian start and predicted he would be a big improver next time in.

“It was a beautiful debut. He’s going to be a lovely horse in the autumn,” McDonald said.

Bowman’s day was tempered by a five-meeting careless riding suspension stemming from the Highway Handicap.

He will ride at The Gong meeting at Kembla Grange next Saturday but will miss the Festival Stakes program at Rosehill on November 27

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