“A boy that has turned into a man.”
That’s Kieran Mcdonagh’s assessment of Lord Lonsdale.
The Ascot trainer expects the four-year-old to go on to bigger and better things when he launches his return to racing at Ascot on Saturday.
McDonagh hopes that with maturity the Maschino gelding will progress through the grades after flashing potential when last in work.
He won twice from three starts, shedding his maiden tag in October and ending it on a high with a jump and run win over the mile a month later.
After clocking the fastest Belmont trial on March 15, Lord Lonsdale contests the Tabtouch Westspeed Platinum Handicap (1200m).
“He’s come back a lot more mature,” McDonagh told The Races WA.
“Maschino’s tend to take a bit of time to develop.
“I was impressed by the trial, he dug in when challenged.
“I think he has a future this horse, he’ll go to bigger and better things.
“My only concern is it might be a tad too short for him.
“He’s a stayer in the making, but it seemed too good a race to miss.
“It’s the ideal platform and he should be too good for them.”
Lord Lonsdale starts from the widest gate in the field of seven runners.
He carries 57kg with the claim of in-form apprentice, Kristy Bennett.
“Kristy knows the horse and it’s good to use her claim,” McDonagh said.
“She rode him to his previous win and in the recent trial.
“She knows the horse pretty well.”
In latest Tabtouch Fixed Odds betting for Lord Lonsdale’s race, he holds $2.80 favouritism, tightening from $3.40.
Meanwhile McDonagh predicts stable flag bearer Cockney Crew can win another trial on Monday.
It’s his second hit out after a first-up flop in the Detonator Stakes when he ran a disappointing last.
“I was entirely happy with the first trial, he was a bit flat to me,” McDonagh said.
“I think that run in the Detonator knocked him around.
“But about a week after that first trial when he won he was coming around.
“He’s bucking his brands off and after the trial we’ll assess where he goes next.”
McDonagh is brimming with confidence again and hopes a change of fortune can carry over to Saturday’s Ascot card.
After a lean spell McDonagh has hit back in recent weeks with Type Won winning at Bunbury and Final Chill at Ascot yesterday (Wednesday).
Written by Julio Santarelli