Lord Of The Sky is set to get his first start this campaign in the Listed Doveton Stakes (1000m) at Sandown on Saturday and it could just as easily be the horse’s final start.
The four-year-old entire hasn’t been seen since August and while Robbie Laing would love to run him in the Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) on December 26, the fact that the race has relocated from Caulfield to Sandown makes it a harder decision.
The trainer told TVN that the Boxing Day feature race would be the perfect destination for Lord Of The Sky but since Caulfield is undergoing a track resurfacing, the horse may just have the one run on Saturday before returning back to the paddock for a brief spell.
Lord Of The Sky’s five wins have all come at Caulfield, including the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m), so it’s easy to see why Laing is hesitant. However the trainer may change his tune when the horse runs at Sandown for the first time in the 2014 Doveton Stakes.
The horse was last seen running fourth in the United Refrigeration Handicap (1000m) at Moonee Valley on August 2, which he ran just one week after coming fourth in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m). Laing has since admitted the quick back-up was a mistake.
“I thought I would give him an easy week and then have an easy kill at Moonee Valley. Well, he had a slow recovery and went home and laid down for a week,” Laing told TVN.
“He was just crook.”
Should he return to the paddock after just one run, Lord Of The Sky would at least find himself with lots of rest ahead of a busy season in the new year. Laing has his sights set firmly on the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) on February 28 at Caulfield for the four-year-old, which would be his first Group One race.
“The race I would love to have him on-song for is the Oakleigh Plate,” he said.
“His win in the Sir John Monash and his win where he was just one-tenth of a second outside the course record on that hot summer’s day when he had to go to the outside rail tells you how good he goes at Caulfield.”
Betting markets for the 2014 Doveton Stakes are due to open at Ladbrokes.com.au shortly, make sure your account is up and ready to bet with.