Robbie Laing was set to dominate the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) on Saturday after nominating three horses for the sprint race but Lord Of The Sky is looking like a doubtful starter after suffering a presumed bull-ant bite.
Lord Of The Sky missed his regular track work on Tuesday morning due to the bite, which has put a spanner into his 2015 Australia Stakes plans.
“He must have had a bull-ant walk across his back because he’s been bitten about 10 times right down his back,” Laing told Racing Network on Tuesday morning.
“I couldn’t put a saddle on him this morning so he’s very doubtful for Saturday,” he added.
Lord Of The Sky enjoyed two second place finishes during the summer in the Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) but was weak in the Listed Chester Manifold Stakes (1400m) last Saturday, finishing four lengths behind Red Excitement in seventh place.
It’s unlikely that Laing will waste money accepting with the four-year-old horse in the Australia Stakes final field on Wednesday, which leaves Boomwaa and Audino for the trainer to saddle.
He told Racing Network that Audino is a definite runner while he’d accept with Boomwaa but wait and see how the three-year-old gelding works on Thursday morning before making a final decision.
“Ideally I would have liked another week for him to get over his trip to Sydney, but I’ll see how he works on Thursday morning and make a call after that, but I’ll accept and see how he is,” Laing said.
Boomwaa is Laing’s highest rated nomination, having won the Group 3 Maribyrnong Plate (1000m) and placed in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) over the past couple of seasons.
This campaign the gelding stepped back to Benchmark races, winning a Benchmark 84 over 1200 metres at Moonee Valley on December 27 before a runner-up finish in a Benchmark 95 over 1400 metres at Royal Randwick on January 10 where she was no match for winner She’s Clean.
Six-year-old Audino enjoyed three consecutive Benchmark victories at the end of last year but finished third last in the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) on January 10 – his first black-type race.
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