After surprising even their trainer Robbie Laing with the merit of their Monash Stakes victory over the weekend, improving young colt Lord Of The Sky is now 2014 Memsie Stakes bound this spring.
Going out as the $2.70 favourite in Saturday’s $135,000 Group 3 Polytrack Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m), Danerich three-year-old Lord Of The Sky proved far too good for their rivals in their biggest test to date.
A winner of four of their previous seven starts, they up-and-comer thrived in their Group race debut to easily defeat the Mick Price-trained Le Bonsir ($5.50) by four and a half lengths in the sprint showdown.
Ken Sweeney’s Group 1 The Goodwood minor placegetter Riziz meanwhile was a further three quarters of a length away for third.
Ridden by Dwayne Dunn from the inside alley, Lord Of The Sky dominated the entire race and never looked like getting rolled as they stormed home to win by an increasing margin.
It was a performance that had the Cranbourne-based Laing nominate them straight away for an elite level target this coming Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
“He’s a three-year-old colt who has now won five from eight starts and now a Group 3 winner,” Laing told The Courier Mail.
Apologising to the horse for doubting their ability, Laing said Lord Of The Sky would now be geared towards the opening Group 1 race of the carnival – the $400,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 30.
They will head towards the Memsie via Saturday week’s Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m), the $150,000 event also held at Caulfield Racecourse, with Laing confident they could then stretch to the 1400m.
“He’s not a little nugget fireball,” he said.
“He’s a big rangy horse and he was strong at the end of today [Saturday].”
After making the evolution from handicaps with light weights to Saturday’s weight-for-age event impressively, Laing planned to give Lord Of The Sky only a few runs each prep to get the most out of them the way Peter Moody did with Australia’s best horse Black Caviar.
“You get your horse to last longer and you also get the chance to get more money if you space their runs,” he said.
Also impressed with the Monash Stakes winner was Dunn who, like Laing, didn’t quite realize how good a horse they had on their hands until Saturday’s result describing him post-win as “the real deal”.
“I must admit…I was questioning his form a bit,” Dunn said.
“He’d been winning but he was well placed and he’s been dominating his races from the front.”
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2014 Sir John Monash Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 6 – 05/07/2014
|1||8||LORD OF THE SKY||Robbie Laing||Dwayne Dunn||–||1||58kg||$2.70F|
|2||4||LE BONSIR||Mick Price||Daniel Moor||4.5L||2||58.5kg||$5.50|
|3||2||RIZIZ||Ken Sweeney||Chris Symons||5.25L||7||58.5kg||$5|
|4||5||MR MAKE BELIEVE||Robbie Laing||Noel Callow||6.25L||8||58.5kg||$20|
|5||6||AFRICAN PULSE||Michael Moroney||Glen Boss||7.5L||6||58.5kg||$5|
|6||3||MORANT||Damien Williams||Nicholas Hall||7.9L||4||58.5kg||$51|
|7||7||GOOD VALUE||Michael Kent||Michael Walker||8.65L||5||58.5kg||$26|
|8||9||JOHANNAPINE||Mark Webb||Brad Rawiller||8.75L||3||56.5kg||$41|
|–||1||READY TO RIP||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||–||0||–||–|