Lord Of The Sky Holds Sway at Flemington on New Year’s Day

Lord Of The Sky overcame various health issues to win the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200 m) at Flemington. Tendon trouble was the main thing hampering Cranbourne trainer Robbie Laing’s horse.

The horse had struggled for the better part of two years and Cranbourne was happy to get Lord Of The Sky another try in the Standish Handicap after taking second in the 2015 edition of the race.

“I was hoping he wouldn’t run last,” Laing said. “I didn’t know what he was going do.”

Keeping expectations low and gratitude high is a helpful perspective for everyone, even thoroughbred racehorses and trainers.

Laing had muted hopes following a slow recovery from a recent hit out. The trial left Laing with serious doubts.

“His trial two weeks ago was the Lord Of The Sky of old. He won by eight (lengths) under a hold but when he pulled up, he blew the house down,” Laing said.

Laing had the stallion in the race almost as an afterthought. He made the decision to run the horse when it became evident that there would not be a lot of serious contenders in the field.

Damien Oliver handled the riding duties and the duo jumped at $16 after drifting from$13. Oliver let the horse race on the pace and won by a nose over Flippant. Chamois Road was back another two lengths.

As a seven-year-old with a history of maladies, future plans by Laing include giving Lord Of The Sky a minimum of three weeks between races while he focuses on finding a stud for the horse, saying, “He’s got championship ability and it’s a mystery to me why a stud doesn’t pick him up. “Hopefully during June and July, some stud uses their trams and trains (brains). There’s that series for two-year-olds over short trips in Victoria that is worth millions of dollars so if they want a quick stallion, on his day there is no quicker than him.”

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