Lord Of The Sky fit, ready and a good smokey for Oakleigh Plate

Lord Of The Sky is his own worst enemy.

The five-year-old returns from a tendon injury in the Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield on Saturday having not raced since the Bletchingly Stakes last July.

Trainer Robbie Laing described Lord Of The Sky’s knee and fetlock joint of his near foreleg as looking like an elephant’s after the entire played with a bandage during recuperation.

“A few days after he ran in the Bletchingly he showed no tendon damage but he grabbed hold of one of the pressure bandages and pulled it tight like a tourniquet,” Laing said.

“He created a lot of damage within in the tendon sheath that still looks a bit ugly and a bit thick.”

Another part of Lord Of The Sky’s difficulty is his penchant for working too hard on the training track.

To keep his work in order Laing has resorted to the treadmill.

He said before the injury Lord Of The Sky would go out and run blistering times in training when an easier gallop was needed.

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“Aaron Lynch was able to get him to go even time for a furlong then all of a sudden he would sky his head and run an 11 (second 200m) when he should be doing pacework,” Laing said.

“But now that he’s had that leg injury it is really important we control his work.

“You can set the speed and he can work at about 14 to the furlong and you can do it twice if you like.”

Lord Of The Sky was due to have a barrier trial at Cranbourne on Monday but the trainer didn’t like the idea of running in heat 14 of the day.

He approached the club and gained permission to gallop Lord Of The Sky before the trials.

Laing said it was impressive work, adding there was something left in the tank.

Lord Of The Sky has drawn poorly in barrier 19 but Laing is expecting him to hopefully sit second or third as he did when second to Chautauqua in the TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick last year.

Lord Of The Sky is a $31 chance.

Oakleigh Plate stats

1100m, $500,000, Handicap


* First run in 1884 when won by Malua who also won the Melbourne Cup that year

* From 1941 to 1944 inclusive it was run at Flemington. In 1996 it was run at Sandown.

Notable winners

* Malua (1884), Wakeful (1901), Aurie’s Star (1937, 1939), San Domenico (1949), Time And Tide (1965), Dual Choice (1971-72), Tontonan (1974), Placid Ark (1987), Snippets (1988), Schillaci (1992), Fastnet Rock (2005), Weekend Hussler (2008), Starspangledbanner (2010), Lankan Rupee (2014).

Talking points

* A capacity field lines up on Saturday with three emergencies

* Flamberge is topweight with 58kg. No winner has carried more than 57kg since the introduction of metric weights in 1973

* Starspangledbanner (2010) is the last three-year-old to win. This year’s three-year-olds are Heatherly, Headwater, Keen Array and third reserve Secret Agenda.

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