Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
A call on whether to take up an offer to race in Group 1 French races this season with Lord Of The Sky will be made by trainer Robbie Laing and connections as soon as the galloper contests the Bletchingly Stakes 2016 Saturday week.
Five-year-old Danerich stallion Lord Of The Sky has caught international attention and could get the chance to dramatically increase his value at stud with an elite level run in France over the coming months.
Lord Of The Sky is a dual Group 1 runner-up with seconds to Chautauqua in Sydney’s Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) last year Flamberge in this year’s Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m), but is yet to bag an elite level title of his own.
His latest win was exactly two years ago in the 2014 edition of the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m), a race he finished just two lengths back for fourth in first-up last Saturday.
A phone call from a European breeder followed and the galloper’s Cranbourne-based trainer Laing said the interest was high to take him to France for a shot at their sprint features held during our spring season.
“There’s a series of sprint races leading up the main one on Arc de Triomphe Day [on the first Sunday of October] and they thought he would be the type of horse to go over and win those sort races and then go to stud in January or February in the Northern hemisphere,” Laing told Racing Victoria this week.
“For sure [that is an option], if the money is right.
“The Australian studs, because of that inch second [to Chautauqua in the 2014 TJ Smith Stakes], there’s not a lot of interest, so we’re thinking about it.”
The culminating French sprint feature Laing mentioned is the Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp (1000m) on October 2.
Lord Of The Sky is scheduled to race second-up on July 30 back at Caulfield in the $150,000 Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) and Laing is confident he can improve on the luckless fourth in the Monash last time out.
“It says he’s now run fourth but in actual fact he was beaten an inch for second,” he said.
“He showed a tonne of pace, he was brave and more importantly he pulled up terrific.
“He definitely went there a run short – he looks a lot tighter and I’m very happy with him.
“I’m looking forward to the Bletchingly.”
He has contested the past two editions of the sprint running fourth to Thiamandi in 2014 as the beaten odds-on favourite and a dead last when 11th to Smokin’ Joey 12 months ago.
Laing said that immediately after the Bletchingly Stakes he and the horse’s owners would need to make the call on the offer from France.
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