Lord Of The Sky Leads Doveton Stakes 2014 Field

Robbie Laing’s smart sprinter Lord Of The Sky returns to racing in the 2014 Doveton Stakes in Melbourne this weekend shooting for his first win since the winter.

Lord Of The Sky

Lord Of The Sky leads a nine-horse field for Saturday’s Doveton Stakes 2014 in Melbourne. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia.

A diminutive field of only nine runners is accepted for this Saturday’s $120,000 Listed Doveton Stakes (1000m), the sprint showdown running as the Emma Booth Christmas Cup.

To wear the number one saddlecloth with the 60kg top weight is Laing’s Danerich stallion Lord Of The Sky, the four-year-old racing for the first time since a fourth to Our Nkwazi over the distance at Moonee Valley on August 2.

That was the second time he was defeated as the odds-on favouite on the trot following an earlier fourth to Thiamandi in the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on July 26.

Before that he posted back-to-back Caulfield wins, most notably over Le Bonsir when the four and a half length winner in the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) on July 5.

It is that form the Cranbourne-based Laing is hoping the up-and-comer can replicate first-up in the Doveton Stakes, Lord Of The Sky drawn in barrier five with Vlad Duric to ride.

He may have the big weight to carry but he has won four of his seven starts over the distance and was most impressive in a gallop at the track on Tuesday.

“He ran home his last 600m in 33.5 with his ears pricked,” Laing told the Herald Sun.

“Vlad couldn’t believe the time and I must admit I didn’t think he was running that sort of time because he did it so easily.

“But that is what he is like when he is on song — he just runs super time without any apparent effort.

“He looks magnificent and has really enjoyed the spell during the spring. I think this is his time to shine.”

Lord Of The Sky is joined in the Doveton Stakes field by stable mate Mr Make Believe in barrier seven for Craig Williams, the out-of-form Commands eight-year-old looking to improve on some poor recent spring form including a last start ninth at Moonee Valley on November 29.

Also resuming in the Doveton Stakes this year are the likes of the Robert Smerdon-trained Go The Knuckle (barrier four) and The Monstar in the outside barrier.

Elvstroem six-year-old Go The Knuckle won first-up at Moonee Valley over 955m in February and was competitive in two other black type runs during the autumn including a second in the Listed Bel Esprit Stakes (1200m) back in March but hasn’t raced since.

The Monstar represents Albury horseman Brett Cavanough, the California Dane four-year-old set to be suited to the Sandown track that he races over for the first time here.

Other notable hopes in the mix include the Stephen Brown-trained nine-year-old warhorse Eight Bills drawn well in barrier two and Written Tycoon gelding Danger Close for Jason Warren on the rails with Craig Newitt to ride on the 54kg minimum.

See below for the full Doveton Stakes / Christmas Cup 2014 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.

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2014 Doveton Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw

Sandown Race 6 (3:55pm AEDT) – 06/12/2014

# Form (Last 10) Horse Trainer Jockey Br. Wgt. Hcp. Rating
1 110x21144x LORD OF THE SKY Robbie Laing Vlad Duric 5 60kg 100
2 108×467366 IT IS WRITTEN Robbie Griffiths Matthew Allen 8 59kg 98
3 80302x142x GO THE KNUCKLE Robert Smerdon Nicholas Hall 4 58kg 96
4 0x54x11x15 EIGHT BILLS Stephen Brown Dean Yendall 2 56kg 92
5 09x4465x89 MR MAKE BELIEVE Robbie Laing Craig Williams 7 55.5kg 91
6 12531118×3 DANGER CLOSE Jason Warren Craig Newitt 1 54kg 80
7 271012138x THE MONSTAR Brett Cavanough Dwayne Dunn 9 54kg 76
8 21129×9315 TANSY Byron Cozamanis Steven King 6 54kg 75
9 111x36x CROONER Kane Harris Daniel Stackhouse 3 54kg 71

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