Lord Of The Sky Too Speedy In The Bletchingly Stakes
Allowed a soft lead throughout, the six-year-old entire won by a length and a half from the strong finishing Fast ‘N’ Rocking (Fastnet Rock), with Mahuta (Flying Spur), looking big in condition for this first-up assignment, a further length and a quarter behind in third place.
Lord Of The Sky, a horse with a few issues, had not won for two years, since an impressive success in the 2014 Sir John Monash Stakes (Gr 3, 1100m), but he ran to a high level last season when second to both Chautauqua (Encosta De Lago) in the T J Smith Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) and Flamberge (Exceed And Excel) in The Goodwood (Gr 1, 1200m).
Unfashionable in terms of pedigree, last Saturday’s victory took his career earnings past the $1,000,000 mark. Lord Of The Sky was bred by his trainer Robbie Laing and was not offered for public sale.
Danerich (Danehill), sire of Lord Of The Sky, stands in Victoria at Rangal Park Stud where his 2016 service fee is advertised at $6,600 (inc GST). Considering the opportunities given to him he has achieved a good deal of success to date and has six other stakes winners, Richie’s Vibe, Didntcostalot, Heaven’s Riches, Classy Chloe, Streetcar Isabelle and Flying Skipper, to his name.
With winners over distances ranging from 900 metres to 2600 metres, Danerich has proved to be a versatile sire, a little surprising given that he was a pure sprinter whose major victory came in the H D F McNeil Stakes (Gr 3, 1100m) at Caulfield.
There is a little stamina coming through Danerich’s dam Millrich (Rubiton) although she, too, was a short course sprinter, among the best juvenile fillies in Australia in the 1994-95 season when she won the Sweet Embrace Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m) and placed third behind Flying Spur (Danehill) and Octagonal (Zabeel) in the Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m).
Lord Of The Sky’s dam Princess Abassi (Abassi) won five races up to 1300 metres, including two metropolitan races in Melbourne. There is little to enthuse about in the first three removes of her pedigree, but if you go back another generation to the family’s New Zealand origins at the famous Trelawney Stud, renowned for producing Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) winners, you find some performers of greater quality.
It seems appropriate that Lord Of The Sky should win the Bletchingly Stakes, named in honour of a great sire, as Bletchingly (Biscay) figures prominently in his pedigree on the dam’s side.
Lord Of The Sky’s maternal grandsire, the little known Abassi, is one of many sons of Bletchingly to become a stallion. Abassi, a Listed placed Melbourne winner, was produced by the German mare Alicia (Priamos).
With champions Kingston Town, Emancipation, Best Western, Canny Lad and Spirit of Kingston heading his list of 63 stakes winners, Bletchingly sired a number of horses with far better race records than his own and he exercised a profound influence on Australian racing in the 1980s and 1990s, an influence since extended by his many successful sire sons and by his broodmares who are responsible for 100 stakes winners.
Among the sons of Bletchingly to carve out notable stud careers are Canny Lad, Lord Ballina, Best Western, Star Watch who died young, Opera Prince, Cossack Warrior, Sir Laurence and Kenny’s Best Pal.
A smallish, stocky and rather plain specimen, Bletchingly, in colour and appearance, was well away from the typical Star Kingdom type and resembled his maternal grandsire Relic (War Relic). Like Relic, he was extremely fast, setting a 1000 metre course record at Flemington before winning his most important race, The Galaxy (then Gr 2, 1000m) at Randwick under just 50 kilograms.
The structure of Lord Of The Sky’s pedigree will be of interest to breeders. Although no name is duplicated in his first five removes, further back you find multiples of such great names as Nearco (Pharos), Hyperion (Gainsborough), Star Kingdom, Fair Trial (Fairway) and the influential My Babu (Djebel), whose dam Perfume (Badruddin) appears three times as she is also dam of the staying stallion Marco Polo II (Le Pacha), sire of Lord Of The Sky’s fourth dam Disinee.