Sweating on the fitness of champion jockey William Pike is the next step for Kevin Fowler after securing a Tabtouch-Quokka slot for his exciting three-year-old, Oscar’s Fortune.
Fowler, who owns breeding and racing operation Loloma Farms, confirmed Oscar’s Fortune will run under the Jack Lee-Steere banner in the $5 million West Australian feature in April.
Oscar’s Fortune underlined star qualities in his maiden campaign last year, performances that garnered interstate and international interest in the son of Rich Enuff.
He won his opening four races in explosive fashion before suffering his first defeat in the Placid Ark Stakes when mowed down in the shadows of the post by Ripcord.
He ran second again in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes, but didn’t lose any admirers in defeat when 1 ¾ lengths astern of inaugural Quokka winner, Overpass.
Pike’s played a pivotal role in Oscar’s Fortune’s early career, piloting the gelding in all six starts, but that successful combination is under serious threat in the short term.
Pike is under an injury cloud after fracturing his heel last week and is in a race against time to be fit for the Quokka (1200m) at Ascot on April 20.
“The only query is the jockey,” Fowler said on Tabradio.
“I’ve spoken to Willie and in horse terms he’s off the bridle at the 400m and under hard riding.
“He’s struggling a bit and that’s the only query at the moment is the jockey.
“He’s (Pike) seeing the surgeon in the next couple of days and will have a better guide to where it’s all going to end.
“We’ll monitor it, but naturally, I’m desperate to have him on because the horse is a bit of a quirky horse and Willie seems to get on very, very well with him.”
Following his Pinnacles carnival exploits Oscar’s Fortune has been back in work for a couple of weeks and Fowler says the signs are positive.
He’s hopeful his richly talented three-year-old can take the next step and successfully take on quality opposition on his return.
He’ll have one trial, resume first up in the Roma Cup (1100m) before the Quokka, Perth’s richest race.
“We’re playing A grade now and I hope it all goes right,” Fowler said.
“You always hope they come back.
“I was worried about the Winterbottom because it was a huge step, but he held his own there.
“He’s been back two weeks, he’s fitted straight in, Dion (Luciani) is extremely happy with him.
“Hopefully, it’s all forward for him.”