The Spring Carnival jockey merry-go-round has started with Damien Oliver hopping back on Lord Of The Sky in the Group 1 $500,000 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Oliver rode the Robbie Laing trained Lord Of The Sky to victory two starts back when he led all of the way in the Group 3 $150,000 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on July 30.
The three time Melbourne Cup winner then dumped Lord Of The Sky to partner Miss Rose De Lago who came out and won the Group 2 $200,000 Back To Caulfield P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield two weeks later.
Oliver will now replace Mark Zahra who was aboard Lord Of The Sky when fifth in the P.B. Lawrence Stakes.
Oliver has a fair record with Lord Of The Sky from four rides and as well as winning the Bletchingly Stakes was beaten a nose by Chautauqua in the 2015 Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick and was in the runner’s up stall again when second to Flamberge in the Group 1 $500,000 Darley Goodwood (1200m) at Morphettville.
The free running Lord Of The Sky is one of eighteen horses nominated for the Memsie Stakes and will have to compete with the front running Charmed Harmony which is a concern for Laing.
“The track will be rain affected, but I am bit disappointed to see Charmed Harmony in there,” Laing told The Herald Sun.
“I thought he was brave in his last run to be beaten 1.9 lengths.”
Lord Of The Sky has won two of his six victories on a rain affected tracks with the Caulfield course rated a soft 5 on Tuesday morning with more showers predicted for the rest of the week.
In early betting for the Memsie Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au Lord Of The Sky is marked at $11 alongside of Australian Oaks winner Sofia Rosa with the Darren Weir trained Black Heart Bart at the top of the market order at $3.20.
Stablemates Mahuta at $7.50 and Palentino at $8 are also high up in the betting ahead of Tony McEvoy’s Alpine Eagle and Victoria Darby winner Tarzino at $10.
Early market order for the Memsie Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.20 Black Heart Bart, $7.50 Mahuta, $8 Palentino, $10 Alpine Eagle, Tarzino, $11 Lord Of The Sky, Sofia Rosa, $13 Entirely Platinum, Tavago, $15 Rising Romance, $17 He Or She, $21 Charmed Harmony, Tally, $26 Awesome Rock, $31 Prince Of Penzance, $34 Hi World, Tashbeeh, $201 Ayres Rock.