Trainer Robbie Laing is predicting a return to the winner’s circle for Lord Of The Sky when he lines up in the Group 3 $150,000 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Lord Of The Sky hasn’t collected a winning cheque since taking out the Sir John Monash Stakes two years ago but Laing is convinced the five year old is back to his best.
“If he’s back to his best, and I think he is, he will win,” Laing told the Herald Sun.
“The horse is really good. He’s been magnificent in trackwork.”
Lord Of The Sky hasn’t raced since failing to beat a runner home when fourteenth to Griante in the Group 1 $700,000 Banjo Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill on March 19 but has barrier trialled twice since at Cranbourne.
The Danerich stallion ran second over 800m on April 11 then recorded a seven lengths win over the same distance on May 9.
Laing has been frustrated with Lord Of The Sky’s last two campaign after he looked to have a promising sprinting career after finishing a nose second to champion sprinter Chautauqua in the 2015 Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.
Lord Of The Sky was then freshened up before running second to Flamberge in the Group 1 $500,000 Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville six weeks later.
But his form fell by the way after that and he failed to run a place from his next four starts forcing Laing to change his training routine for the five year old.
“He ran some great races,’’ Laing said.
“Seconds in the Christmas Stakes and the Standish, a fourth in the Newmarket and then second to Chautauqua in the TJ. Smith Stakes and a second to Flamberge in The Goodwood.”
Patrick Moloney has been recalled to partner Lord Of The Sky in the Sir John Monash Stakes after having ridden him on three previous occasions, including a six and half lengths win in a 1000m BenchMark 78 Handicap at Caulfield in January, 2014.
Lord Of The Sky has drawn barrier nine in the sixteen horse field but Moloney will be have to use the stallion’s early speed to cross to the fence in the early stages.
The Lindsay Park trained Fast ‘N’ Rocking will carry the number one saddlecloth with jockey Dwayne Dunn looking to increase his lead in the Melbourne jockey’s premiership race.
Fast ‘N’ Rocking has drawn barrier six and will be having his first start since running fourth to Black Heart Bart in the Group 1 $500,000 Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville on May 21.
Record breaking trainer Darren Weir will saddle up three runners in the Sir John Monash Stakes, Thermal Current, Mirage and Olivier.
Thermal Current from barrier four with Dean Yendall in the saddle looks the best of his three, coming off a win in the $100,000 Golden Topaz (1200m) at Swan Hill on June 10.
Mirage has drawn midfield at barrier eight while Olivier has drawn wider at twelve with Harry Coffey booked to ride.