A sizzling piece of work at Sportingbet Park at Sandown Hillside on Tuesday morning has trainer Robbie Laing confident Lord Of The Sky is the one to beat back at the track in the Doveton Stakes 2014 on the weekend.
Heading towards a possible run in the $400,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield Racecourse on February 28 next year during the Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, the four-year-old Danerich stallion was most impressive in this morning’s work at Sandown.
Saturday’s $120,000 Listed Doveton Stakes (1000m) will be Lord Of The Sky’s first run since a fourth as the beaten odds-on favourite ($1.50) in an $80,000 handicap over the 1000m at Moonee Valley on August 2.
That was his second loss as the shortie in the markets after the Group 3 John Monash Stakes (1100m) winner also ran fourth when beaten three and a half lengths by Thiamandi in the Group 3 Bletcingly Stakes (1200m) after jumping at $1.50 to win in the Caulfield feature on July 26.
The Cranbourne-based Laing is happy to forgive and forget those winter runs however putting Lord Of The Sky’s lackluster performances down to a virus.
“He was obviously crook and just not himself because he was stopping badly, but hopefully we’ve got him right now,” he told the Racing Network.
Laing intends to give the speedster just the one run this weekend ahead of another break before his autumn return chasing Group 1 glory.
To prepare for his comeback run Lord Of The Sky had his first serious look at Sandown this morning and flew home over the final 600m in 33.5 seconds, for Laing hopes holds for the weekend’s first-up assignment.
“He was supposed to just do some steady work, but he ran home in 33.5 (last 600 metres) so he might be back this horse,” Laing said.
“That’s very fast, I just hope he hasn’t left it on the track, but he seemed to do it within himself, so we’ll find out on Saturday whether he’s found his best form again or not.”
Other notable Doveton Stakes hopes in 2014 include the Robert Smerdon-trained Group 3 runner-up Go The Knuckle coming off a second to Office Bearer in the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes (1200m) Sandown-Lakeside back in March and veteran nine-year-old Eight Bills who comes off a fifth in the Listed MSS Security Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.
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