Fourteen sprinters have been included in nominations for Saturday’s 2016 Group 3 Bletchingly Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield Racecourse; highlighted by the pending appearance of some of the forthcoming Spring Carnival’s most exciting prospect.
The Cleaner was expected to return to racing in the Group 2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) in a fortnight, but figures as a shock inclusion in 2016 Bletchingly Stakes nominations.
The Cleaner has been a cult hero of Australian racing since he won ballot-free entry into the 2014 Cox Plate with a stunning win in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m), and has only continued to improve through subsequent preparations.
Resuming last spring for a close second behind now stable mate Mourinho in the PB Lawrence Stakes, the Savoire Vivre gelding successfully defended his crown in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes before running third in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m).
Running a brave seventh in the Cox Plate, The Cleaner failed to make anything of an impact in the Listed Conquering WFA (1400m) in Tasmania on December 9th and has not been seen at the races since.
Robbie Laing is confident Lord Of The Sky has taken plenty of benefit from his first-up run for fourth in the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m) a fortnight ago, and has included the star sprinter in Bletchingly Stakes nominations.
Lord Of The Sky has posted five wins and as many minors through twenty-three competitive starts to date, and is unlucky not to have posted a win at the highest level.
Undoubtedly finding career-best form to date through the 2015 Autumn Carnival, the Danerich entire ran fourth in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) before an agonizingly-close run to second behind Chautauqua in the Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) during The Championships.
Having ended that campaign with another close second in the Group 1 The Goodwood (1200m), Lord Of The Sky was unable to make much of an impact through the early autumn this year but has undoubtedly returned to racing this time a far-greater prospect.
Laing has revealed that the Bletchingly Stakes make figure as Lord Of The Sky’s final Australian target, before he is sent for a preparation in France and a subsequent career at stud.
2015 champion Smokin’ Joey has been included for a defence of his title in 2016 Bletchingly Stakes nominations, while leading trainer Darren Weir is set to launch a multi-pronged attack in the race after including both Mahuta and Thermal Current in nominations.
The 2016 Bletchingly Stakes field and barrier draw is due to be completed and released by midday, Wednesday.
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2016 Bletchingly Stakes Nominations
|#||Last 10||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp Rating|
|2||541×962100||CHARMED HARMONY||G||6||John Sadler||106|
|3||143×048346||FAST ’N’ ROCKING||G||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||105|
|4||42270x00x4||LORD OF THE SKY||H||5||Robbie Laing||103|
|5||494x11120x||MAGNAPAL||G||6||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||101|
|7||50×4323113||ODYSSEY MOON||C||3||Robert Smerdon||91|
|8||3x11x32431||RUETTIGER (NZ)||G||4||Lee & Anthony Freedman||91|
|9||00x0x1361x||RUNWAY STAR||M||5||Phillip Stokes||97|
|10||19x0x0700x||SMOKIN’ JOEY||G||8||Wez Hunter||100|
|11||62438×4603||TADDEI TONDO||G||6||Gerard Moloney||–|
|12||245x21377x||THE CLEANER||G||8||Peter Gelagotis||110|
|13||78×3145017||THERMAL CURRENT||G||5||Darren Weir||99|