Nigel Blackiston has been adamant for several weeks now that Distant Sky (Starcraft x More Than Adequate) has finally matured. As a five-year-old it has been a decent wait for connections, so Monday’s win at Ballarat was a well-earned reward for their patience and persistence.
Distant Sky has been consistent throughout most of his career, with 15 top 5 placings in his 22 starts before Monday (one win and seven placings). However he had often been green and difficult to ride, turning his head on the side and running away from his competition – sideways unfortunately not forward!
After a soft tissue injury at his last race in October, Nigel was forced to give Distant Sky a slightly longer break than planned. But it could be the making of this son of Starcraft.
Distant Sky has remained spritely and spirited in his track work since returning to full training at Flemington – “A very happy horse”. Nigel, Assistant Trainer Kasey Loftus and regular rider Joanne Templar have been reporting that he is stronger, more mature – and perhaps even an inch taller. His three jump outs at Flemington in good company were all pleasing. Ben Allen rode him in each of these jump outs and provided a great report for owners.
He made his return to racing at Ballarat in a BM58.
Craig Robertson took the ride and rode a flawless race. Distant Sky is not a horse to be ridden close to the lead. But over 1200m he can not come from the rear of the field too often to win. More importantly, he is a horse that needs to “go through his gears” and build momentum.
Once into the clear at the 400m mark, “Robbo” did just that. Quietly urging Distant Sky and allowing him to lengthen stride in his own time saw this chestnut gelding cruise up to the leaders at the 200m mark and sprint away for a comfortable victory. The manner of his victory suggests there is more to come from this $50,000 New Zealand Bloodstock graduate of Trelawney Stud. -Blackiston Racing