At Flemington in Melbourne, some eighteen months since he last saluted the judge, lightly raced 7YO gelding Lord of the Sky (Danerich-Princess Abassi, by Abassi) made all for trainer Robbie Laing to win the $150,000 Gr3 Standish Handicap (1200m) down the famous straight six. Oliver took the roughie to the front soon after the start and simply idled there while behind him other runners, including favoured Toyboy, were looking for the best going. Put under pressure over the last 200m by closing 5YO mare Flippant (Hinchinbrook-Lady Beckworth, by General Nediym), Lord of the Sky dug deep to hold on by 0.1-length, with 5YO gelding Chamois Road (Choisir-Alpine Club, by Model Man) finishing strongly for third. Lord of the Sky now has 7 wins and 5 runners-up from 28 starts for $1,111,250 earnings.
Talented Melbourne sprinter Lord Of The Sky (Danerich-Princess Abassi, by Abassi) is back in work with trainer Robbie Laing after his owners failed to find him a home at stud, reports the Herald Sun. The 6YO was bound for the Mitchell's Yarraman Park Stud at Scone, but a deal fell through at the last minute. "It was nearly over the line. Harry [Mitchell] loved the horse, but in the finish he didn't think his dam line was deep enough,'' Laing said. "There were a couple of small studs happy to stand him for the owners, but they decided they wanted to race him again." Laing added: "There's horses coming out here from England with Group 2 form going to stud and he's got Group 1 Australian sprint form. I don't get it." Laing said Lord Of The Sky would trial at Cranbourne next week ahead of his early spring targets, the Sir John Monash Stakes on 15 July and the Bletchingly Stakes on 29 July at Caulfield. "He's done a lot of work. His tendon has been scanned and it's strong," Laing said.
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $500,000 Gr1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) to be run at Caulfield racecourse this Saturday, 27 August. Strong favourite for the race is the Darren Weir-trained Gr1 Goodwood winner Black Heart Bart at $2.70, ahead of stable-mates Mahuta ($5.50) and Palentino ($6.50). Alpine Eagle is rated a $13 chance, Australian Oaks and Australian Derby winners Sofia Rosa and Tavago are both at $15, as is Tarzino, while Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance is the second longest priced runner at $41. The field is:
Trainer Robbie Laing has revealed that there has been American interest in sponsoring talented sprinter Lord Of The Sky to compete at the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park in November. The race that connections have in mind is the US$1 million Turf Sprint over 1300 metres. "There is a chap that is very interested in sponsoring him to run on Breeders' Cup day and I'd say we'd be a 50/50 chance of going," Laing told racing.com. However, before any overseas travel plans are made Laing is focusing on having the 6YO entire ready for Saturday's Gr1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield. It will be Lord Of The Sky's second try at seven furlongs after finishing fifth (beaten 2 lengths) behind Miss Rose de Lago in the Gr2 PB Lawrence Stakes last start. "He's had the one race over 1400 metres this time in which will certainly have him that little bit tougher and most of the field are stayers on the way back," lain said. "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."
The final field has been declared and the barrier draw conducted for the $200,000 Gr2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) to be run at Caulfield on Saturday. Favourite for the race is the Darren Weir-trained Mahuta at $4 ahead of last-start Gr3 Bletchingly Stakes winner Lord Of the Sky and dual Gr1-winning mare Suavito who share the second line of betting at $5.50. The only other horses under double-figure odds are Miss Rose de Lago at $7 and reigning Tasmanian Horse of the Year The Cleaner at $9. The final field is:
1. SMOKIN' JOEY (Wez Hunter-Chris Parnham) 59kg (9)
2. THE CLEANER (Peter Gelagotis-Steven Arnold) 59kg (2)
3. LORD OF THE SKY (Robbie Laing-Mark Zahra) 59kg (11)
4. JACQUINOT BAY (David & B Hayes & T Dabernig-D Lane) 59kg (3)
5. ENTIRELY PLATINUM (Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-D Dunn) 59kg (14)
6. AWESOME ROCK (Leon & Troy Corstens-Stephen Baster) 59kg (4)
7. TALL SHIP (Darren Weir-Dean Yendall) 59kg (12)
8. MAGNAPAL (Terry & Karina-O'Sullivan-Luke Currie) 59kg (13)
9. BERISHA (Robert Smerdon-Ben Thompson) 59kg (15)
10. NEVIS - scratched
11. MAHUTA (Darren Weir-Brad Rawiller) 58.5kg (5)
12. SUAVITO (Nigel Blackiston-Michael Walker) 57kg (7)
13. SET SQUARE (Ciaron Maher-Nicholas Hall) 57kg (10)
14. MISS ROSE DE LAGO (Danny O'Brien-Damien Oliver) 57kg (1)
15. JAMEKA (Ciaron Maher-Craig Williams) 56.5kg (8)
The Ciaron-Maher-trained Girl Guide has been well supported to make a successful return to racing in tomorrow's Gr3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield, reports AAP. The 6YO mare - who hasn't raced since finishing a well beaten eighth in the Wangoom Handicap during the Warrnambool carnival in May - has been backed from $11 into $6 to win the sprint feature. Should Girl Guide be successful, it will be just her second black-type victory since winning the Gr3 How Now Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield in September 2014. Favourite for the race is the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig-trained Fast 'N' Rocking at $4.60 with Wild Rain sharing the second line with Girl Guide at $6. Lord Of the Sky, winner of the 2014 edition of the Sir John Monash Stakes, is next best at $7. Click here to view all the form and fields for Caulfield.
Trainer Robbie Laing says he is confident that Lord Of The Sky (Danerich-Princess Abassi, by Abassi) can mount a successful defence of his title in Saturday's Gr3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield, reports racing.com. The 4YO entire recorded a brilliant 4.5-length win in last year's edition of the Monash, and has since taken his form to another level finishing runner-up in the Gr1 TJ Smith Stakes (behind Chautauqua) & Gr1 Goodwood (behind Flamberge) at his past two outings. Laing says he is unconcerned by Lord Of The Sky's wide draw of 11 and is confident he will be hard to beat. "With the weather at the moment, a bit of rain around and the feature races at the end of the program now, drawing out wide might be an advantage. Come the second-last race, it might be better to be out wide." He added: "He's very fit, loves Caulfield, a bit of soft ground won't hurt, and his last runs at weight-for-age conditions have been great. He's just happy at the moment, and looks fit and has a Spring-like coat on him. He should be right up there." Laing said the Gr1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on 29 August was Lord Of The Sky's main target. "He'll go to the Bletchingly Stakes next in a few weeks, then the one I'm really setting him to have a crack at is the Group 1 Memsie at Caulfield."
Westbury Stud have announced a special deal for breeders looking to support recently retired Group One performer El Roca (Fastnet Rock-Rubimill, by Rubiton), reports NZ Racing Desk. The son of Fastnet Rock stands at NZ$7,500 plus GST with a Live Foal Guarantee and payment is not required until 1 June 2016. Those that breed to El Roca in year one can look forward to a half price service fee in year two and a free service in years three and four respectively. "The aim of this scheme is to offer breeders some relief if they breed a filly and to allow them the chance to breed a couple of colts at an economical cost," Westbury Stud's Sales Manager Gareth Smith said. El Roca is out of the unraced Rubiton mare Rubimill, a full-sister to Gr3 Sweet Embrace Stakes winner & Golden Slipper placegetter Millrich. Millrich, in turn, is the dam of Gr3 winner Danerich, sire of Robbie Laing's brilliant sprinter Lord Of The Sky.
Meanwhile, the betting market for Saturday's Gr1 Stradbroke Handicap, where $6 favourite Lumosty's appearance is highly unlikely, has punters all at sea. After a favourable inside barrier draw, Srikandi has firmed into $10 from $13, however that still leaves a cluster of horses between $7 and $10. They include Boban ($8), Sacred Star (10), Generalife ($9), Charlie Boy ($7), Knoydar ($8.50), Black Hart Bart ($7) and Delectation ($7.50). With Lord Of The Sky ($15) and Hot Snitzel ($16) also strongly in the mix, about the only certainty could be the weather where even the chance of a small shower is likely to see the track rated good.
Lumosty remains a borderline chance of making the field for Saturday's $2 million Gr1 Stradbroke Handicap (1350m) after the connections of El Roca and Lord Of The Sky confirmed they will be acceptors for the race, reports horseracing.com.au. "No point worrying about what you can't change," trainer Robert Smerdon told Sky's Racing HQ. "She is good. I have been happy with her all through. No problems. She flies up tonight (Tuesday)." The Phil Sly and Katsumi Yoshida-owned Lumosty (Fastnet Rock-Luminous Eyes, by Bachelor Duke) has been in brilliant form this campaign, winning both her starts since returning from a long lay-off after surgery to remove bone chips from her fetlock. The talented daughter of Fastnet Rock showed the benefit of that break when clocking a sub-33 sec final 600m split to win impressively first-up at Flemington over 1100m, before scoring a stylish victory in the Listed Straight Six Handicap (1200m) at the same track on 23 May. The original plan was to run Lumosty in the Dane Ripper Stakes at Doomben this Saturday as a prep for the Gr1 Tattersall's Club Tiara (1400m) at the Gold Coast on 20 June, but the ease of her most recent win convinced Smerdon to step her up to Gr1 level. "We thought she was going well, we were happy with her and first up we went in there thinking she had a good hope of winning," Smerdon said. "But to put them away the way she did. To be fair we were never looking at the Stradbroke." He added: "You put a lot of horses in the early noms in these races just in case, she was one of those, but after her first up win we thought we would have to really think about the race and then she repeated it second up so it changed our focus." Lumosty will run in the Gr2 Dane Ripper Stakes if she fails to gain a start in the Stradbroke.
At Morphettville in South Australia, Darley's former Champion Australian Sire Exceed And Excel (Danehill-Patrona, by Lomond) celebrated a Gr1 success when 5YO gelding Flamberge (Exceed and Excel-Razor Blade, by Blazing Sword) scored a surprise 0.7-length win for trainer Peter Moody in the $500,000 Gr1 Goodwood (1200m) for 3YO+, over 4YO entires Lord Of The Sky (Danerich-Princess Abassi, by Abassi) & Under The Louvre (Excellent Art-Barcelona Girl, by Noverre). Flamberge took his record to 8 wins (including the Gr3 Heath Stakes, Gr3 Sebring Stakes & Gr3 Standish Handicap) & 8 placings (including the Gr2 Rubiton Stakes & Gr3 Kevin Heffernan Stakes) from 27 starts for $990,300 earnings. A homebred for newly elected Racing Victoria chairman David Moodie's Contract Racing, Flamberge is a full brother to dual Listed winner Curtana and a half-brother to Gr2 winner Sunburnt Land (Scenic) from the brilliant Gr3-winning sprinter Razor Blade.
At Royal Randwick in Sydney, Coolmore's former dual Champion Australian Sire Encosta De Lago (Fairy King-Shoal Creek, by Star Way) celebrated a Gr1 success when 4YO gelding Chautauqua (Encosta de Lago-Lovely Jubly, by Lion Hunter) scored by 0.1-length for the training triumvirate of John, Wayne and Michael Hawkes in the $2.5 million Gr1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) for 3YO+, over 4YO entire Lord Of The Sky (Danerich-Princess Abassi, by Abassi) & 5YO gelding Terravista (Captain Rio-Parfore, by Gold Brose). This was a well deserved maind Gr1 victory for Chautauqua who took his record to 6 wins (including the Gr2 Rubiton Stakes, Gr2 Gilgai Stakes, Gr3 Bobbie Lewis Handicap & Gr3 Hawkesbury Guineas) and 5 placings (including the Gr1 Newmarket Handicap, Gr1 Darley Classic & Listed Gosford Guineas) from 13 starts for $2,353,250 earnings. Bred by the Throsby family, who raced his dam Lovely Jubly, Chautauqua was passed in for $300,000 at the 2012 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale and was retained to race by his breeders in partnership with prominent owner Rupert Legh, whose blue and gold lightning bolt silks Chautauqua carried to victory. Chautauqua is the second stakes winner from Gr1 BRC Sires' Produce Stakes winner Lovely Jubly who has also produced Gr3 SAJC Breeders' Stakes winning filly London Lolly (Charge Forward). "Honestly, he was never in a winning position. To come from last today....that was pretty freaky," co-trainer Wayne Hawkes told Sky Racing. "It's just great to finally get the Gr1 out of the road." Co-trainer Michael Hawkes said that Chautauqua would now be spelled to prepare for the spring and a possible trip to Hong Kong later in the year. "We will take stock but probably head toward the spring and maybe head over the Hong Kong at the end of the year," he said. "We thought about Royal Ascot but he's a gelding, so it's probably best just to keep him here at home."
Peter Moody's multiple Gr1 winning stable-mates Dissident and Moment Of Change head the nominations for Saturday's Gr2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley. Last year's winner Richie's Vibe, Gr1 winner Smokin' Joey, Lord Of The Sky, and track specialist It Is Written are among the other entries for the race which has attracted a field of 10 runners. Nominations have been extended until 10am today.
Talented sprinter Lord Of The Sky will be rested for at least two months due to a shoulder injury, reports horseracing.com.au. The injury was detected following the sprinter's two recent failures as an odds-on favourite in the Gr3 Bletchingly Stakes and a 1000m handicap at Moonee Valley last Saturday. Trainer Robbie Laing had the colt thoroughly examined by his vet who found a tear in his off-front shoulder muscle. "The vet said before I do the ECG do you know he has badly torn a muscle in his shoulder and I said 'no and I didn't have any idea'," Laing told the Herald Sun. "He pulled up panting after the race, like a pain blow and I thought he'd gone shin sore again but he hadn't." The Cranbourne trainer is confident there will be no long-term damage. "He needs rest and he'll come back as good as ever," Laing added. "He'll have to give him the rest of August and even the all of September out. He is only a young horse."
Robbie Laing has issued an ominous warning to Lord Of The Sky's (Danerich-Princess Abassi, by Abassi) rivals ahead of Saturday's Gr3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield, saying the talented sprinter has improved since his last-start 4.5-length romp in the Sir John Monash Stakes. "He went into his race last time with a few issues that had me a little wary, but he's spot-on this week," Laing told Racing Network. Laing feels the colt's greatest asset is his high cruising speed. "People said he got it easy in front last time but he went 10.8 for one (200m) section, then 11 for the next and still finished off in the fastest last 200 metres of the race," he said. If all goes according to plan on Saturday, Laing will step Lord Of The Sky up to seven furlongs at his next start in either the Gr1 Memsie Stakes or the Gr2 JJ Liston Stakes (now known as the PB Lawrence). "I've got no doubt he'll run 1400-metres so going to one of those races holds no fears at all."
At Caulfield in Melbourne, Rangal Park Stud's Gr3-winning stallion Danerich (Danehill-Millrich, by Rubiton) added a Group success when 3YO colt Lord Of The Sky (Danerich-Princess Abassi, by Abassi) scored by 4.5-lengths for trainer Robbie Laing in the $135,000 Gr3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) for 3YO+, over 5YO geldings Le Bonsir (Choisir-La Bella Dame, by Royal Academy) & Riziz (Zariz-Priya, by Covetous). This was the first stakes victory for the richly talented Lord Of The Sky who took his record to 5 wins and 1 placing from 8 starts for $261,500 earnings. Laing, who bred and part-owns Lord Of The Sky, said the colt will head to the Gr3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on 26 July before stepping up to Gr1 level in the Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on 30 August. "If he wins the Bletchingly, I'd love to run him in the Memsie," Laing told racingnetwork.com.au, adding he had no concerns about him stretching his brilliance out to 1400m. "He's a pretty rangy horse and when he travels he's magnificent." Lord Of The Sky became the fifth stakes winner for Danehill stallion Danerich, who has also sired Gr2 Australia Stakes winner Richie's Vibe, Gr3 SAJC Chairman's Stakes winner Heaven's Riches, Classy Chloe and Flying Skipper.
Trainer Robbie Laing has revealed that talented sprinter Lord Of The Sky (Danerich-Princess Abassi, by Abassi) will have his next start in the Gr3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield on 5 July, reports horseracing.com.au. Laing, who is hoping Lord Of The Sky can graduate to Gr1 level during the spring, said the son of Danerich will be kept fresh before being given a barrier trial a week before the Monash. "It seems to be a good recipe with him because he probably doesn't do quite enough in his gallops," Laing said. "I want him to be a big, strong sprinter. We don't have to do a lot with him except for the trial we'll give him a week before." He added, "As soon as he gets out of the barriers, he runs 46." Lord Of The Sky, who is considered one of the fastest horses in Victoria, has always shown plenty of promise with 4 wins from 7 starts to date but will have to step up his game if he is to be considered a serious contender for Gr1 glory in the spring. The 3YOs only stakes appearance hitherto was in the Listed WJ Adams Stakes at Caulfield in February, where he finished a disappointing last after pulling up shin sore.
At Rosehill Gardens, Gr1-winning Danehill stallion Fastnet Rock (Danehill-Piccadilly Circus, by Royal Academy) added a black-type success when talented 3YO colt El Roca (Fastnet Rock-Rubimill, by Rubiton) scored by 2-lengths for trainers Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young in the $125,000 Listed Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) for 3YOs, over fellow colt Dissident (Sebring-Diana's Secret, by Anabaa) & 3YO gelding Romantic Touch (Northern Meteor-Dearness, by Snippets). El Roca took his record to 3 wins (including the Listed Westbury Stud Challenge Stakes) and 1 placing (the Gr3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude) from 5 starts for $162,577 earnings. El Roca was passed in for NZ$110,000 at the 2012 NZB Premier Yearling Sale from the draft of Westbury Stud. El Roca is from the unraced Rubiton mare Rubimill, a full-sister to Gr3 Sweet Embrace Stakes winner & Golden Slipper placegetter Millrich. Millrich, in turn, is the dam of Danerich, sire of Robbie Laing's brilliant young sprinter Lord Of The Sky.
Smart New Zealand 3YO El Roca (Fastnet Rock-Rubimill, by Rubiton) will arrive in Sydney today to prepare for the inaugural The Championships to be held at Royal Randwick in April. Cambridge trainer Trent Busuttin says the son of Fastnet Rock has been nominated for every feature race during the carnival but that he is yet to decide on an exact program. "We have to remember this bloke has only had four starts so we're still a little unsure on his distance range," Busuttin said from New Zealand. "I've pretty much entered him for everything - The Doncaster Mile (1600m), the Derby (2400m), the Sydney Cup (3200m). You name it; I even entered him for the TJ Smith Stakes (1200m)." El Roca scored an impressive 3-length barrier trial win at Avondale last Wednesday and Busuttin says the stable is "very happy" with him ahead of his return in the Listed Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill this Saturday. "From there he will most likely go to the Hobartville a fortnight later and then we'll play it by ear whether he steps right up in distance or not. Ideally we'd like him to be having his fifth start this campaign in the Doncaster Mile during The Championships," he added. El Roca is from the unraced Rubiton mare Rubimill, a full-sister to Gr3 Sweet Embrace Stakes winner & Golden Slipper placegetter Millrich. Millrich is the dam of Danerich, sire of Robbie Laing's brilliant young sprinter Lord Of The Sky.