The 2015 Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic field has been released and Lizard Island is set to back-up in the Group 3 event that will be held at Caulfield on Saturday.
Lizard Island has shown plenty of talent since he made his racing debut at Caulfield and lived up to that potential when he flew home on the inside rail to finish an impressive second behind Press Statement in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 10.
Trainer Pat Hyland was originally set to save Lizard Island for the Group 2 Moonee Valley Vase (2040m) on Cox Plate Day, but he told Racing Ahead this morning that he would prefer to run the son of Sebring in the Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic to give him a two week break into the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington on October 31.
“He went super, he really did,” Hyland said.
“He has come through very well and I am very happy with him.
“If he continues to do as well as he has been doing then he will run.
“He has eaten up and he is very happy.
“He gave us every indication that he is going to get a bit further.
“He appears to settle quite nicely once he gets in behind a couple and all these things go well for him when we get to the Derby.
“That is what we are looking for.
“We were going to go the Moonee Valley, but we decided that we would be better to run here and give him two weeks until the Derby.”
Lizard Island is not the only horse that is set to back-up in the Caulfield Classic after running in the Caulfield Guineas, with Godolphin-owned Shards set to also back-up in the race.
Shards started his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a win in the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick on August 22, but he has been unable to replicate that performance since and he was never able to get into the race in the Caulfield Guineas.
The Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) that was held at Flemington on October 4 is also set to be a key lead-up race to the Caulfield Classic and Shawn Mathrick-trained Ayers Rock will back-up in the Group 3 event.
Ayers Rock upstaged the likes of Tivaci, Etymology, Scadden’s Run and Assertive Star in the UCI Stakes, but they will get the chance to turn-the-tables on their rival in the Caulfield Classic.
Fillies finished first and second in the 2014 edition of the Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic, but there will be only one filly in the 2015 Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic field in the form of Sacred Eye.
Sacred Eye stamped herself as a horse to watch when she recorded a dominant win at Geelong on September 1 and she was far from disgraced at Caulfield on September 19 and in the Group 2 Edward Manifold Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on October 4.
The 2015 Ladbrokes Caulfield Classic field is rounded out by Get The Picture (barrier ten), Éclair Attack (barrier five), Alkaashef (barrier 12), Ragnaar (barrier three) and Iron Boss (barrier 13).
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