Lizard Island was a strong and consistent performer through the recent Spring Carnival, and trainer Pat Hyland is confident the three-year-old is primed for a strong first-up performance in Saturday’s Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington.
Posting one wins and six minors through his nine career starts so far, Lizard Island immediately stamped himself as a colt to watch when debuting for second in a Caulfield minor over 1100m in April, but kicked up a gear through a Spring Carnival campaign highlighted by a number of impressive black type performances including a close run for second in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 10th.
Underlining the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 5th as the first major target for the Sebring colt, Hyland told Racing Ahead he is thrilled with the benefit the horse has taken from his time away from racing and is confident he is a winning chance in the CH Hayes Stakes.
“He’s in great shape and I’m really happy with him for his first-up run,” Hyland said.
“He trialled really well last week when he beat Scissor Kick. We’re going there and I think it’s a winnable race so we’re happy.
“He’s ready to win. He’s had a good preparation and the only thing that can improve him now is the race. This is a 1400m so if he can win this it would be great because he’ll go into a 1600m after that.
“He’s developed but I think more than anything his personality has changed a lot. He’s acting more like a good racehorse where he was a bit immature before.”
Lizard Island will leave from the ideal barrier 4 in the CS Hayes Stakes and Hyland is confident he can receive the run of the race from the draw.
“I think he’ll probably just sit behind the leader and he makes his own luck because he races up pretty handy in these sort of races,” Hyland added.
Placing second to Bon Aurum in the talent-rich Listed Pin & Win Stakes (1200m) on September 12th, Lizard Island posted his only race win to date in the Evergreen Charity Raceday Maiden (1600m) on September 23rd leading into his Caulfield Guineas second.
Progressing to second in the Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) on October 17th, Lizard Island failed to get the trip in the Group 1 Victoria Derby (2500m) but was carried to a credible eighth on class alone.
Ladbrokes.com.au are currently offering Lizard Island at 2016 CF Orr Stakes odds of $9 for success.