Lord Of The Sky Aimed at Oakleigh Plate 2015

December 2nd, 2014

Saturday’s Doveton Stakes at Sandown could be the summer – autumn kick off point for Robbie Laing’s smart galloper Lord Of The Sky who has the 2015 Oakleigh Plate in his sights next February in Melbourne.

Lord Of The Sky

Lord Of The Sky will target the 2015 Oakleigh Plate in the autumn. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia.

The Danerich four-year-old hasn’t raced since a close fourth behind Our Nkwazi in the $80,000 United Refrigeration Handicap (1000m) at Moonee Valley back on August 2, but is one of 13 nominations for the $120,000 Listed Doveton Stakes (1000m) at Sportingbet Park at Sandown Hill on Saturday.

The smart stallion won the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield Racecourse back in July and it is an elite level over that track and distance his Cranbourne-based trainer Laing is aiming him for this coming Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.

A Tuesday morning gallop at Sandown will determine whether Lord Of The Sky will indeed resume racing this Saturday, Laing also nominating the $400,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) on Blue Diamond Stakes Day as a likely autumn assignment.

“The race I’d really like to have him cherry ripe for in the autumn would be the Oakleigh Plate,” Laing told Racing Victoria.

“When he’s on-song as he was last summer he went close to breaking the track record over 1000m against restricted horses when he went around the outside running rail and won by five lengths.

“Even when he won the Sir John Monash Stakes he gave nothing else a chance that day and his next two runs were well below his best.”

Lightly raced with just 10 starts on his record so far, Lord Of The Sky is a five-time winner with the John Monash Stakes his sole black type victory.

He was odds-on favourite at his next two starts but failed to finish in the money firstly in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on July 26 and then again at Moonee Valley – runs Laing is happy to excuse.

“I know he was dubbed a squib by a couple of the scribes after his last run at Moonee Valley but the horse laid down for a week after the run so there was definitely something not right with him,” Laing said.

“He had a slow recovery rate at the race track and we gave him a few days rest in his box and generally when we let out into his grass paddock he goes off his head but all he wanted to do was lay down so I think he had a virus.”

Laing has a total of three Doveton Stakes nominees for Saturday with Lord Of The Sky joined by Danerich mare Carvalho and veteran Commands eight-year-old Mr Make Believe.

The race is traditionally run at Caulfield but a track overhaul there has seen it transferred to Sandown this year, Laing confident Lord Of The Sky can handle his maiden start at the track under race conditions.

“He looks magnificent and he’s come back in magnificent order,” he said.

“He galloped with Boomwaa on Saturday morning and they bowled along over a half-mile (800m) and ran their last three (furlongs) in just about 34 (seconds) dead and there wasn’t much between them.

“They’re both very good sprinters and they tested each other to the line.”

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