A change of plans by trainer Robbie Laing will see Lord Of The Sky head to Adelaide for the Group 1 $500,000 Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 16.
Laing was all set to head to Brisbane for the Group 1 $2m AAMI Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) at Doomben on June 6 after Lord Of The Sky ran a courageous race before being run down by Chautauqua when second in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on the first day of ‘The Championships.’
But Laing thought the Goodwood would be an easier target for the Danerich stallion and if he could snag a Group 1 victory, it would greatly enhance Lord Of The Sky’s stud value.
“We had a few studs saying they were inches off picking up the phone and making good offers, so what he needs is to win a Group One,” Laing told AAP.
“Every man and his dog is going for the Stradbroke and I’d hate to go up there and diminish the value that he’s now got.”
Lord Of The Sky has won five of his seventeen starts and at times has been a bit inconsistent with his best win being in the Group 3 $135,000 Polytrack Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield in July 2014.
But Laing has stepped the four year old up to Group 1 company at his last three starts with promising results.
He raced on the pace in the Group 1 $400,000 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on February 28 before fading to finish eleventh to Shamal Wind but then wasn’t disgraced when fourth to Brazen Beau in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) down the Flemington on March 14.
Then at Randwick in the T J Smith Stakes Damien Oliver looked like he had stolen the race when he kicked Lord Of The Sky clear coming down the rise only to be grabbed on the line by the Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua.
Laing said that Lord Of The Sky has recovered well from his hard run on the rain affected track and would head to Adelaide a refreshed horse.
“He doesn’t do well in the paddock,” Laing said.
“We’ve kept him at home and have been poking around down at the beach and in the last few days he’s really done a treat.”