Not since 1995/96 has a horse won consecutive runnings of the Gr.3 Bletchingly Stakes but that is just what is being attempted by Lord Of The Sky when he heads to Sandown on Sunday.
Showing his customary dash when resuming in the Gr.3 John Monash Stakes, Lord Of The Sky tired late but was beaten just under three lengths. Go back twelve months and it was a similar run first up in that same race though of course he is another year older and on the come back from injury.
Charmed Harmony is the only other runner to have also contested last year’s Bletchingly. Like Lord Of The Sky, the on-pacer (who has won all three Lakeside starts) is double figure odds this time around and whilst he boasted a great fresh record earlier in his career, he does now tend to take a couple of runs to find his best form.
Speaking of horses first up in the Bletchingly, the toppie Lankan Rupee – as a Horse Of The Year deserves – will have plenty of fans despite not being seen on the track since last spring. Now eight, he is the class runner of the field and has not been out of the placings first up since his autumn 2013 campaign!
Lankan Rupee is early favourite for the race whilst the aptly named Ability, who is shooting for his fourth win in a row, is also right in the market. The rae should be run to suit him and he certainly knows how to find the line.
As does the lightly raced Savanna Amour, the Queensland visitor who on her last trip to Melbourne took out the Gr.2 Armanasco Stakes at Caulfield. The winner of four of her seven starts impressed winning a recent Doomben trial in preparation for this first up tilt.
Another interesting interstate Bletchingly contestant is Chocolate Holic who ventures out of Western Australia for the first time – debuting for the prolific Darren Weir stable.
The son of Blackfriars who just claimed his seventh Champion WA Sire title, Chocolate Holic has won seven of his 11 starts and was impressive working his way through the classes last time in.
The Hayes stable are yet to add a Bletchingly Stakes trophy to their collection but have a double barrelled attack this year with Tashbeeh and Keen Array both horses with good winning strike rates.
Duke Of Brunswick is a horse who rarely runs a bad race, the Magnus 6Y0 a seven times winner and 14 times placed from 28 starts. He has been runner up at his two Lakeside starts to date and hopes to go one better.
A roughie with a chance is Divine Ten, a former Hong Kong horse who was spelled after failing in two local runs earlier in the year. But his first up run when a close up fourth in the John Monash Stakes contained merit.
Just ahead of him that day was Murt The Flirt who second up last time in, off a lesser fresh run, was a Caulfield winner. He is yet to succeed at stakes level but did measure up with that good first up run.
Which brings us to Santa Ana Lane, last year’s Gr.3 Zeditave Stakes winner who has three times at the 1200m, finishing on the heels of the placegetters in the Gr.1 Goodwood at Morphettville in May.
This is the 24th running of the Bletchingly Stakes, a race usually run at Caulfield but postponed from last weekend when strong wins brought about a premature end to that meeting.
You Remember is the sole two times winner of the sprint which has also been taken out by the likes of Apache Cat, Poetic King, Sports, Dandy Kid, Regal Roller and Shoot Out.
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