The scratching of Lord Of The Sky on veterinary advice has paved the way for Reldas to gain a start in the Group 1 $500,000 Clamms Seafood Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The Robert Smerdon trained Reldas was originally the first emergency when the final field of eighteen plus three reverses was released on Wednesday, but is now a definite starter with lightweight jockey Craig Newitt to get down to the 52kg.
The inclusion of Reldas in the field to join stablemate Atmospherical gives Smerdon an extra chance to win back to back Oakleigh Plates after Shamal Wind stormed home to win last year’s version.
Reldas has a similar racing style as Shamal Wind, settling back in the field before putting in his finishing burst and Smerdon feels the helter skelter of the Oakleigh Plate will suit the five year old.
“He’s a run-on sprinter down in the weights and it’s a race that suits those types of horses,” Smerdon said.
“I thought his run last time was good and his work has been good.”
Reldas settled near the tail of the field before flying home to be beaten a nose when second to Tuscan Sling in the Listed $120,000 The Cup Club Christmas Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on December 26.
Then at his next start, the Testa Rossa gelding made up ground in the straight to be beaten less than two lengths when sixth to Shakespearean Lass in the Listed $120,000 W.J. Adams Stakes (1000m) at Caulfield three weeks ago.
Atmospherical (barrier 3) with Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michelle Payne to ride has had one run back from a spell for a seventh in the W.J. Adams Stakes and is marked at $26 for the Oakleigh Plate while stablemate Reldas is listed as a $21 chance.
The Matthew Ellerton and Simon Zahra trained Heatherly and Keen Array from the Lindsay Park Team are having a great tussle at the top of the Ladbrokes.com.au market order.
Heatherly has come in for some solid support and has shortened up to be the $4.20 favourite, displacing Keen Array, now $4.40, from the top spot.
On the third line of betting at $6 is the Peter and Paul Snowden trained Bounding who will be having her first run back since finishing third to Catkins in the Group 3 $125,000 Irresistible Pools Sheraco Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill on September 12.
The Team Hawkes trained Headwater and second and third emergencies Swinging Arms and Secret Agenda are also early scratchings from the Oakleigh Plate.
Oakleigh Plate market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.20 Heatherly, $4.40 Keen Array, $6 Bounding, $12 Fell Swoop, $15 The Quarterback, Fast ‘N’ Rocking, $19 Gregers, $21 Reldas, $26 Atmospherical, Pittsburgh Flyer, Flamberge, $31 Vezalay, Griante, Dothraki, Smokin’ Joey, Kuro, Eclair Choice.