Cranbourne’s Robbie Laing is over the moon with the 2015 Oakleigh Plate prospects of his stallion Lord Of The Sky this Saturday after the four-year-old blitzed a trial at home on Monday morning.
Laing has the Danerich four-year-old racing in Group 1 company early this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival throwing Lord Of The Sky into the deep end in the $400,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) on Blue Diamond Stakes Day at Caulfield Racecourse on the weekend.
Showing he was ready for the tough run, his fourth since late December, however was the up-and-comer’s ultra-impressive eight length win in this morning’s opening Cranbourne hit-out over 800m.
He and jockey Stephen Baster had the big margin to spare over Andrew Noblet’s second-past-the-post Sistine Demon in the trial, boosting Laing’s Oakleigh Plate confidence.
“He had the handbrake on the whole way around today and he could have won by 12 if he wanted to,” a beaming Laing told Racing Victoria.
“The thing that made me really happy was how easily he did it, the jockey never moved on him.
“As soon as he’d established a two-length lead he grabbed hold of him and he came to the corner with his ears pricked, four or five in front under a firm grip and he just kept extending the margin.”
Lord Of The Sky was last seen running a disappointing seventh to Red Excitement in the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on January 17.
That was the horse’s first look at further than 1200m and, after he weakened out sharply over the final furlong, proved to Laing that Lord Of The Sky was a definite sprinter.
He is back in distance then on Saturday for the Oakleigh Plate test, his first look at a Group 1 field.
The galloper has had three Group 3 starts, the most recent of which produced a close second when three quarters of a length off Decircles in the Standish Handicap over 1200m at Flemington on New Year’s Day.
His record at Caulfield though is excellent, his latest run at the track being a fourth to Thiamandi in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m).
Before that he won back-to-back starts over the track by a combined six lengths over 1000m on May 17 last year and then 1100m in early July when putting four and a half lengths on Le Bonsir in the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m), which was his last time in the winner’s stall.
“Over the summer in every race he was being asked to carry big weights so we thought we’d go up in class and down in weight at his favourite track with freshness on his side,” Laing said.
“He’s won five races and every one (of those) has been at Caulfield.”
Other likely Oakleigh Plate nominees for this weekend include the Gary Portelli-trained Stratum four-year-old I’m All The Talk, John Sadler’s short sprint specialist Vain Queen last seen winning the Group 3 G.H. Mumm Stakes (1100m) at Flemington in November, 2013 The Galaxy winner Bel Sprinter and last year’s Blue Diamond Stakes winning filly Earthquake.