After dominating his rivals in the Sir John Monash Stakes a fortnight ago, Lord Of The Sky is not surprisingly a very short-priced favourite ($1.65) to repeat that performance in this Saturday’s Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield.
Robbie Laing’s 3yo colt will be looking for his six win at only his ninth start and to also further enhance his reputation of being a leading contender during the spring carnival.
Le Bonsir ($6.50) who ran second to Lord Of The Sky in the Sir John Monash, is the market’s tip to do so again and is on the second line of betting, whilst last start winner Nearest To Pin ($8.00), 3yo filly Thiamandi ($8.50) and Ready to Rip ($9.00) – who won this race in 2012, are all given chances of filling a place.
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1. READY TO RIP – B Rawiller (8) 58.5kgs
Unfortunately for connections the Peter Moody trained galloper who was scheduled to compete in both the Sir John Monash Stakes and the following week’s Vic Sprint, was scratched just prior to both events with a hoof complaint.
This makes his last run the Listed Straight Six (1200m) at Flemington back in March were he finished seventh (2.4 lengths) behind winner Lonhspresso.
He is two from two this track/dist, enjoys racing fresh and any sting out of the ground is to his advantage.
He has drawn the widest gate here and although not ideal, in the small field with only one turn to make, it’s manageable.
2. LE BONSIR – D Moor (1) 58.5kgs
A very consistent and honest galloper who has finished second to Lord Of The Sky and Nearest To Pin in the Sir John Monash Stakes and Vic Sprint respectively at his two most recent outings.
As he did in the Sir John Monash, he has drawn a good gate here that should again see him trail Lord Of The Sky in the run.
He couldn’t match that horse in the straight on that occasion, finishing 4 ½ lengths in arrears and whilst he may not be able to make up that margin, he’ll certainly have the run that will see him figure in the placings yet again.
3. NEAREST TO PIN – N Hall (2) 58.5kgs
Speedy customer who sat on the pace in the Listed Vic Sprint Final up the Flemington Straight a fortnight ago and with the weight advantage under the handicap conditions, found enough over the final stages to record a head win over Le Bonsir, whom he meets here 3.5kgs worse off. The 4yo gelding has drawn a good gate here and will be up on the speed. He is fit, in form and if any rain falls, he has won 4 from 7 on Slow/Heavy tracks, he is sure to give a good account of himself even though he is stepping up to WFA conditions.
GRAND EMPEROR – S Arnold (7) 58.5kgs
A Written Tycoon gelding who is coming back off a break of seven weeks. His last start was a seventh (3.1 lengths) behind Let’s Rock’n’roll on a slow track in a BM 90 at Moonee Valley were he failed to make much of an impression form the tail of the field. That followed a better effort, on a drier surface and after being tightened for room, finishing sixth (2.2 lengths) of twelve behind Lonhspresso in the Listed Straight Six. Will be giving them a start from his wider draw and stepping up to WFA sees him carrying 4.5kgs more than he did in his above two starts.
5. LORD OF THE SKY – D Dunn (5) 58kgs
Stepping up to WFA, on a slow track in the Sir John Monash Stakes proved of little concern to this promising sprinter. The Robbie Laing trained runner jumped well from the inside gate to lead before extending in style soon after straightening for the run home, recording an impressive 4 ½ length win over Le Bonsir. That was the son of Danerich’s fifth win from only eight starts and his trainer has since confirmed that the run, which was his first in seven weeks, has only improved the colt. On that advice and the style of his last start win, he’ll be extremely hard to defeat.
6. GIG – V Duric (6) 56.5kgs
The 5yo Commands mare has had plenty of racing and travel so far this year, lining up on twelve occasions in four different states. She’s yet to win any of those starts but has placed twice in Group 3 company and at her most recent start, the Listed Winter Championship (1600m) at Flemington last fortnight, saw her run another honest race, finishing third to Akavoroun. She faces a big challenge here though, dropping back from a mile to a WFA Sprint against some handy performers.
7. RAIN FAST – J McNeil (4) 56.5kgs
Speaking of plenty of racing, this 4yo mare from Stephen Lenehan’s Horsham stables is lining up for his sixteenth start since March! He races almost on a weekly basis but from those starts, has only been able find success at Warracknabeal and Warrnambool – both in RST 58 events. He started a whopping 200/1 when coming to town two starts again when eighth (8.9 lengths) behind Vain Queen in an Open Handicap and since, finished second to last on a heavy track at Adelaide’s Morphettville track in a BM 90 (1100m). Aiming too high here.
8. THIAMANDI – M Rodd (3) 56kgs
The Street Boss filly made it back-to-back wins last start when she recorded a comfortable two length win at Caulfield in a Open fillies race over 1100m. She drew gate three, as she has done here, and sat on the pace before extending well in the straight under 59kgs and on a slow rated track, to defeat Jemerica. Steps up again in class here and to WFA but has a good winning strike and comes from the astute yard of Lloyd Kennewell. Capable of running a cheeky race.
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It is impossible to go past Lord Of The Sky for this race. Last start there were a few questions marks over him but he quashed them in emphatic style and the reports from the stable of him improving since, should have all his competitors on Saturday battling it out for second. Leading the charge there is the ever consistent Le Bonsir. He’ll settle up on the speed and whilst a drier track may see him reduce the previous beaten margin behind Lord Of The Sky a little, it’s probably not enough to reverse the result. Nearest To Pin holds similar credentials. Drawn well, will take up a forward spot and is in solid form. Ready To Rip will try and find a place off the pace and take one last shot at them. He does have a close third to Spirit Of Boom at G2 level to his credit when ridden in a similar style.
- LORD OF THE SKY
- READY TO RIP
- LE BONSIR
- NEAREST TO PIN