Tamworth preview: Michelle Fleming has Our Boy Ollie ready for discovery

TAB Highway winning trainer Michelle Fleming’s patience could have a more tangible reward on Tuesday if her bargain buy Our Boy Ollie lives up to expectations.

Fleming’s colt is winless in his eight starts so far, but has already turned a profit for connections given his paltry price of $9,000 as a yearling.

Our boy Ollie is getting better with each passing day thanks in part to the Flemings’ refusal to rush the four-year-old.

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“He’s a nice horse, but he’s just a late maturing horse,” she said.

“He’s come into this training a lot more mature and now he’s learning his trade, which is great. He has so much ability, even in his gallops, you just know it’s there.”

Our boy Ollie produced a career-best performance when he resumed at Scone 15 days ago, finishing the toughest of them all, from the back of the field to finish second.

“Alysha (Collett) rode him perfectly because I didn’t want to wreck him too early on that Heavy track, so we had to do our job late and give the horse credit,” Fleming said.

“He came and ran nicely so hopefully we can do the same on Tuesday.

“I would have liked to put him in another 1000m just to get it right but he had a jump before his last start so he is good enough and really fit to he goes to 1200m and I think this will suit him better. .

“He’ll probably be a little closer (in the run) over 1200 meters, which will give him that chance to come home and not have to make up as much ground.”

Our boy Ollie is from the second generation of foals sired by Widden Stud’s resident sire, Outreach.

Himself a brother to 2012 Golden Slipper winner Overreach, Outreach was robbed of his chance at Slipper glory, being forced to retire after a second-placed debut in the Canonbury Stakes to subsequent Slipper winner Vancouver.

In addition, Our Boy Ollie is a member of one of the most famous families in the Studbook.

The broodmare’s fifth dam is Col Tidy’s former bookmaker and owner/breeder mare Summoned, who sired five stakes winners, including five-time Group 1 winner and outstanding stallion Zeditave.

Fleming’s other runner at Tamworth on Tuesday (subject to possible scratches) is her beloved stable captain The Lion, who gave her a career highlight when winning a TAB Highway at Rosehill on Carrington Stakes Day in 2018.

The Tamworth-born-and-bred Lion ran 10 lengths last time out at Beaumont last Tuesday, with an apology.

“The barrier came back on him so we didn’t have a very clean start so he came back,” Fleming pointed out.

“He actually made up a bit of ground and caught the field but they were long gone by then because it was a firm track and then he had a class record.

“I think over 1200 meters on Tuesday they’ll know he’s there.”


Trainer Theresa Stair hopes a steep weight gain will not be enough to deny her progressive mare Arliebel a hat-trick of wins when she steps out at Tamworth.

Arliebel may consider herself somewhat unlucky not to aim for four wins in a row on Tuesday after starting her stunning third racing campaign with a second edition at Quirindi.

Stair’s mare followed up with back-to-back wins, firstly at Armidale and again at Quirindi 12 days later, where she carried 52kg.

Her mission on Tuesday, while completely appropriate, will require her to take on another six and a half pounds if you switch it.

“All the races have suited her, but this time I think it’s a much stronger field than what she’s beaten before,” Stair said.

“The owner has opted to put in the senior jockey (Grant Buckley) this time, so it will be interesting to see how that goes.”

Stair has always thought highly of Arliebel, who has been on a gradual upward trajectory since her fifth-placed debut at Scone on April 4 this year.

“It took a while and he’s still learning,” Stair said.

“You might have noticed that he’s still racing a bit green, but he’s doing really well.

“She’s got a four-year-old now and she’s just starting to find her leash and she’s stabled. She is a wonderful mare to do anything with.

“I’ve had quite a few dealings with race and they all seem to last a little while.

Arliebel was spared a nine-hour round trip to Sydney at the weekend, with Stair opting for an assignment much closer to home.

“I nominated her for the Autostrada last Saturday but it was 1100m which was not an ideal distance and she would have been fourth emergency when the fields came out,” explained Stair.

“As it worked out, there was a lot of scratching and she would have gone for a run, but it’s very difficult to travel from here to Sydney when you’re an emergency and you don’t know if you’re going to run or not.”

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