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Cranbourne horseman Robbie Laing believes his galloper Lord Of The Sky is 100% fitness-wise ahead of Saturday’s 2016 Memsie Stakes.
Of the 18 gallopers nominated for this year’s $500,000 Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m), Laing believes the advantage is held by those with lead-up runs already this season.
That includes his Danerich stallion Lord Of The Sky, the six-year-old brought on by three runs at Caulfield Racecourse between mid-July and the weekend.
“He’s had the one run at the 1400m this time in, which will certainly have him that little bit tougher and most of the field are stayers on the way back,” Laing explained to Racing Victoria.
“The ones that have had a run or two, they are going to be the hardest to beat.”
First-up Lord Of The Sky finished just two lengths away fourth to Wild Rain in the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) before winning the Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) a fortnight later on July 30.
He was last seen racing on August 13 in the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) when far from disgraced crossing under two lengths away fifth to Miss Rose De Lago.
Mark Zahra had the mount in the Lawrence Stakes but the horse’s Bletchingly Stakes winning hoop Damien Oliver returns to the saddle.
In the Lawrence Stakes The Cleaner, who is missing from the Memsie Stakes entries, made Lord Of The Sky work up front hard during the early stages and Laing is more confident his horse will get a better run this weekend.
“I am very happy that Ollie [Damien Oliver] rang for the ride knowing that The Cleaner is not going to be in there going cut-throat together,” Laing said.
“He looks like he’s going to bowl along in front and it’s a bit tricky for the other jockeys who are thinking ‘do we take him on and bring ourselves undone or do we sit back’?.
“As far as fitness is concerned, he’s 100 per cent. I won’t get him any better than what he’ll be on Saturday.”
Pre-field Memsie Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have Darren Weir’s returning Stradbroke Handicap runner-up and The Goodwood winner Black Heart Bart as the $3 favourite.
Lord Of The Sky is further down the markets at a current quote of $11 to post his first win at the distance and seventh from 14 starts at the Caulfield track.
There has also been plenty of talk about a possible overseas’ campaign for the million dollar earner later in the year and Laing said owners were considering a trip to America for the Breeders’ Cup meeting in November.
“Probably the favourite of all the overseas ramblings is a chap very interested in sponsoring him to run on Breeders’ Cup Day and I’d say we’d be 50/50 about going,” Laing said of the $1 million Santa Anita sprint over 1300m.
There was also interest from France for Lord Of The Sky to contest a 1000m sprint on September’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe Day card.
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