Lord Of The Sky will return to racing in the National Patient Transport Plate (1000m) at Caulfield on Saturday and trainer Robbie Laing is expecting big things from the classy colt that he believes is good enough to contest the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) during the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing.
Laing admits that he wasn’t expecting a great deal from Lord Of The Sky when he made his first barrier trial appearance at Cranbourne last year and was surprised when the son of Danerich finished an impressive second behind Stakes winner Crack A Roadie.
After two more impressive barrier trial performances, Lord Of The Sky went into his debut race at Werribee as a clear favourite but could finish no closer than fourth before quickly atoning for his defeat with a dominant three and a half lengths victory in the Procal Dairies Handicap (1000m) at Caulfield on July 13.
Laing’s told RSN this morning that his original plan was to set Lord Of The Sky for a couple of sprint races during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival but the three-year-old did not handle his time in the spelling paddock and the veteran trainer was forced to change his plans.
“He went to the paddock after Caulfield and there were a couple of sprint races for him over the spring,” Laing said.
“He went to a beautiful property with great people but I don’t know whether he got a virus but he came home and hadn’t done well at all.
“It is only the last couple of weeks that he has regained his coat and he will strip pretty fit tomorrow.
“I did have him in on Melbourne Cup Day but I was a bit embarrassed with the way that he looked a month ago.
“The last couple of weeks he has really turned the corner and his trial the other day was super.”
Lord Of The Sky will need to be at his very best to defeat the strong field in the National Patient Transport Plate, which includes dominant debut winner West Africa as well as other talented gallopers Tankster, Brotherly Secret and Colors Of The Wind.
West Africa has been backed to beat Lord Of The Sky but Laing remains confident that his talented colt is good enough to record his second race win and press on to bigger races, like the Oakleigh Plate, in the autumn.
“He won by nine so horses that win by big margins are generally good horses,” Laing said about West Africa.
“He must have had a lot on his opposition up there and this is going to be a very good form race for summer and autumn.
“Even though he (Lord Of The Sky) doesn’t have the best pedigree in the world, his speed and precociousness has got a couple of studs ringing even at this stage.
“We will try and create a picket fence if possible, which will all come down falling around our ears if he doesn’t win tomorrow, but we are hoping that he can come up to an Oakleigh Plate in the autumn.”
Laing already has a strong team heading to the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing; with Victoria Derby winner on track to contest the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) and Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m).