Lord Of The Sky will be making his debut at Group level in the 2014 John Monash Stakes and trainer Robbie Laing is happy with the condition of the talented speedster heading into the $135,000 race at Caulfield on Saturday.
Lord Of The Sky started his winter campaign with a surprise loss in the Auckland Racing Club Handicap (1000m) at Flemington on April 25, but was found to be suffering from respiratory issues after the race and he returned to winning form with a professional performance in the Taralye Listen Learn Speak Handicap (1000m) at Caulfield on May 17.
Laing told Racing Ahead that he had been happy with the work of Lord Of The Sky in the lead-up to the John Monash Stakes and is hopeful that the Danerich colt can make it back-to-back wins this weekend.
“He is really good and he is starting to furnish into a lovely horse,” Laing said.
“His work has been very good; we generally like to trial him pretty strong prior to the race, but was nothing was really suitable.
“Instead he had a strong gallop at Sandown last Friday.”
Lord Of The Sky will be making his debut at weight-for-age level and will carry 58 kilograms with veteran jockey Dwayne Dunn on his back on Saturday.
The three-year-old has carried just 51 kilograms and 51.5 kilograms in his last two race starts, with Laing opting to use the services of claiming apprentice Kayla Nisbet and the in-form trainer admits that he is slightly worried about the rise in weight.
“One of the things is going to be the step-up in weight,” Laing said.
“I have thrown him in a couple of open sprints and he has been down on the minimum and claiming on the minimum.
“He goes up in weight pretty steep, but he is nearly a four-year-old and he has to come up against better company at some stage.”
Laing also has veteran gelding Mr Make Believe in the John Monash Stakes field and the son of Commands will be returning to the races for the first time since he failed to fire in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on July 27 last year.
Mr Make Believe will be having his first start for Laing in the Group 3 event and the Cranbourne-based trainer does not believe that the seven-year-old will be disgraced in his return to racing this weekend.
“I am pretty happy with him,” Laing said.
“He is obviously a good galloper and he is going to strip pretty fit.”
Lord Of The Sky ($2.40) is currently a clear favourite in 2014 Sir John Monash Stakes betting markets, while Mr Make Believe is available at a quote of $16.