Sky Major back on track in NZ

By Michael Guerin

Sky Major’s autumn looked back on track at the Alexandra Park workouts on Saturday morning.

The last-start Chariots Of Fire winner was a strong second to pacemaking winner Mossdale Conner in the main 2200m mobile heat, his final hitout before next Friday's Taylor Mile.

Sky Major hasn’t raced since the Chariots at Menangle on March 1, after suffering a lung infection that forced him out of the Auckland Cup but trainer Barry Purdon is happy with how the two-time Jewels winner has progressed.

“He was good today and will obviously improve with that,” said Purdon.

“He is an athletic horse who doesn’t carry too much weight so he is ready for next Friday.”
 The Taylor Mile and then the Messenger provide Sky Major with valuable chances to win money toward a Jewels start, as he only has a meagre $1299 in NZ stake earnings this season.

He will need around $35,000 to get a start in the Jewels but has the option of at least four races before the May 17 cut off.

Mossdale Conner was good enough winning the workout in the hands of Maurice McKendry to suggest he is back to his best and can be a Taylor Mile player with a good draw.

Lancewood Lizzie, who sat parked down the back straight, battled late while Ideal Belle, on the way back after a brief let up, was given an easy run and is expected to start in a mares race next Friday as she too chases a Jewels spot.

Two southern trotters were the other stars of the show on Saturday morning, with Monbet and Master Lavros both impressive.

Monbet easily beat some handy rivals as he prepares for the talent-stacked three-year-old trots over the next two weeks while Master Lavros handled the right-handed track a treat winning the main trotting heat in 3.32 for the 2700m stand.

“He was good and the track wasn’t an issue,” said caretaker Regan Todd.

“But we know we have our work cut out trying to beat Stent in the Anzac Cup next week.

“The Rowe Cup though, that looks more his race.”
Fields for the first night of the premier meeting are finalised on Monday.