Trainer Pat Hyland has bold plans for exciting three-year-old Lizard Island this season and while wary of the talent-rich field confirmed for Saturday’s Listed Pin & Win Stakes (1400m) at Flemington, is confident his horse has the ability for success.
Lizard Island debuted to racing for a close second in the Robert Taranto Handicap (1100m) on April 4th; progressing to second in the Listed Anzac Day Stakes (1400m) before returning to the paddock for a brief freshen-up.
Having played up in the gates before running a forgettable sixth in the Andersons Removals Maiden Plate (1105m) upon resuming at Sale on August 13th, Hyland was pleased with the manor in which the Sebring colt savaged the line for third in a Sandown minor over 1200m on August 26th and is confident the work produced by the horse since points towards a competitive performance in the Pin & Win Stakes.
“He ran very well – Dwayne Dunn was very happy with him and he has to ride the Hawkes’ horse on Saturday but he was very keen to ride him again,” Hyland told Racing Ahead.
“We’ve got Blake Shinn and he seems to be riding pretty well.
“I took him to Sale to give him a kill but he reared in the boxes and missed the start by many, many lengths.
“He turned it around at Sandown and he ran very well and I expect he’ll run very well again.
“He’s a big horse … he might be an even better autumn horse but he hasn’t done a lot wrong.
“I’m very happy with him, he’s worked well since Sandown and I think it could be a very winnable race for him.”
Hyland is holding out hope Lizard Island will progress into a serious 2015 Caulfield Guineas prospect this time, but will allow the colt’s form and results to dictate the path taken.
“He’s a lovely horse, I ride him in all his work and he’s a lovely horse to ride, quite a ‘big’ actioned horse,” Hyland said.
“I’m hoping he can get to the Guineas, but we all live in hope of that.
“I think he’ll settle off the pace a bit. He’s drawn a bit awkward I dare say but I’ll leave it to the jockey.
“If he can get a nice rest in the race he’ll run home very well – each of his races he’s got home well when he comes back off the pace.”
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2015 Pin & Win Stakes odds, for which Lizard Island can be taken at a particularly generous quote of $11 for success.