O'Shea adamant Everest hope's running into form

Whether or not you think Lost And Running’s lead up form is good enough, trainer John O’Shea is certain Saturday’s TAB Everest will be his best performance this preparation.

The five-year-old started the spring as the X-Factor horse of the 0 sprint classic and most would say some of the shine came off when he failed to beat a horse home in his first big test in the Group 2 The Shorts.

O'Shea kept his eye on the prize and Lost And Running made sharp improvement second-up into the Group 2 Premiere Stakes, finishing under 1.5 lengths from Masked Crusader after a wide run.

The Randwick trainer explained when it came to ensuring the gelding is at his peak for the TAB Everest it wasn't going to happen in one hit.

"It's what we call a humble bounce back,'' he said.

"When you have a disappointing performance I always say to my owners you don't erase 10 lengths in two weeks. You erase six or seven lengths and then next time out you get to 10.

"We erased a good few lengths from a poor performance first-up into second-up.

"He will bounce of that. It was a positive outing, he raced very well, it was a good tough day for him and he looks to map very well on Saturday."

That's a key factor when looking at Lost And Running's two starts this spring – he's found himself stuck wide but that shouldn't be a problem for jockey Hugh Bowman from gate two on Saturday.

O'Shea expects the noted speedsters Nature Strip, Eduardo and Home Affairs to set up the tempo and would like to see them roll to allow his charge the chance to race to his strengths.

"Hopefully they go too quick, he gets a nice run into the straight and hopefully he goes on with it,'' O'Shea said.

"He'll get momentum because they won't dawdle. The nature of the three horses that lead is to run and we will make sure that they run.

"I think you want to draw soft and he's going to lob into that lovely sweet spot in behind the speed, he's got good speed himself but not silly speed. There's an opportunity there for him to run particularly well."

Lost And Running won six of his first seven starts and as a real up and comer in the sprinting ranks was snapped up by TAB for its Everest slot.

That improved showing in the Premiere Stakes kept him on the radar, he was $19 with TAB on Thursday, and when O'Shea paraded the horse on Monday at the Everest media event with Olympic sprinter Rohan Browning he was looking a very fit racehorse.

It should also be reasserted that Lost And Running didn't compete in the exhibition race with Browning but he did appear in the Theatre Of The Horse after the event.

"Hugh was a bit taken back when he saw him,'' O'Shea said.

"He's known how big he's been and how important it is has been for us to have him ready on the right day. When I presented him to Hugh the other day he was a bit taken back by how much improvement he has made."

From day one the trainer has been well and truly along for the TAB Everest ride and while in an ideal world Lost And Running would be more seasoned come the 2022 edition he's rapt to be taking part for the first time.

"This is a unique opportunity to run in a race worth $15 million,'' he said.

"Next year you might have a temperature, a sore foot or a sore leg and might not run so we're ready to run and we'll take that opportunity.

"I'm very relaxed, we've had a good preparation and we will run the best race we possibly can. If that is good enough we will be in the finish."

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