Lord Of The Sky is set to face a tough field in the National Patient Transport Plate (1000m) at Caulfield on Saturday but trainer Robbie Laing is already looking ahead to the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) as a potential autumn target for the Danerich colt.
Lord Of The Sky has not been seen at the races since his impressive victory in the Procal Dairies Handicap (1000m) at Caulfield on July 13 but has produced two strong barrier trial performances; winning by three and eight lengths respectively in two hit outs over 800 metres at Cranbourne.
Veteran jockey Darren Gauci partnered Lord Of The Sky in his eight lengths romp at Cranbourne on November 25 and Laing said that the Group 1 winning jockey was brimming in praise for the three-year-old; indicating that the colt was good enough to contest the Oakleigh Plate during the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing.
“The Gauch was blown away,” Laing told News Limited.
“Lord Of The Sky ran 45.1 seconds for the 800m and he wasn’t touched.
“He could have broken 45 sec easily and Darren just couldn’t believe the natural talent of the young horse.”
Laing admitted that he was expecting much out of Lord Of The Sky when he made his first public appearance in a barrier trial at Cranboune last year but he immediately showed his talent by finishing second behind Stakes winner Crack A Roadie in a barrier trial.
Not everything has gone to plan with Lord Of The Sky, he missed the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival after returning from the spelling paddock with a virus, but Laing is still expecting big things and perhaps another Group 1 victory with the colt.
“I wanted to give him only a four or five-week break and to bring him back in September as a three-year-old, but he didn’t winter well and had a virus,” Laing said.
“I gave him a trial in October, and although he won well, I expected better, so I gave him another trial last week and he was fantastic, really exciting both Gauci and me.
“I have really high hopes for him.
He is one of those sprinters who has a high speed, but who can accelerate without seeming to make an extra effort.
He is going along with them one second, and then suddenly he is five lengths in front, which is really exciting.”
Lord Of The Sky is currently on the second line of betting for the National Patient Transport at odds of $2.70 and is expected to receive a tough test from West Africa who has been extremely well-backed after his amazing nine lengths victory at Kilmore on debut.
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