From celebration to quandary for Lord

Cambridge trainer Graeme Lord is caught between a rock and a hard place with his talented stayer D’Llaro.

The former successful jumps jockey was celebrating after D’Llaro registered his sixth win when leading throughout in the $25,000 De Laval R75 1800m at New Plymouth last Saturday.

Lord bred and owns D’Llaro and races him in in partnership with the estate of his father, Ivan, and a couple of long-time friends, Cambridge farrier Kim Hughes and John McGifford, also a former jumps jockey and ex- Chief Executive of Hawke’s Bay Racing.

But Lord’s excitement over D’Llaro’s win last Saturday was dampened a few days later when the horse’s new rating came out. D’Llaro had risen eight points from a rating 73 and that put Lord in a quandary where to go next with him.

He was keen to back D’Llaro up at the Taumarunui meeting, but he was left with two unsatisfactory options, either step him up against the open-class horses in the Listed $80,000 Taumarunui Gold Cup or see him carry a huge weight in the R75 2100 metres.

Lord quickly dismissed the Taumarunui Cup option, knowing the weights would be so compressed through the inclusion of top winter galloper Indikator. With that in mind, he knew he would not be able to find a suitable lightweight rider for the six-year-old.

As it has developed, D’Llaro wouldn’t have even got into the Taumarunui Cup on the ballot as nothing below a rating 83 got even an emergency look in.

The only option left for D’Llaro was to press on with a start in the $25,000 Joe Bradley Premier, even though the horse will have to lump 62kg.

“I’m in a no-win situation,” said Lord. “There are no suitable races around for his grade, so I’m really forced into running him in the Rating 75 again. And he’s not a kid’s horse, so it’s no use going for an apprentice claim.

“He’s not an easy horse to ride and Rory (Hutchings) gets on so well with him. He’ll ride him again and the horse will just have to carry the 62kg. There is no option.

D’Llaro is the third winner Lord has bred from Random Quest, a Random Chance mare he obtained when buying his current property off Cambridge trainer Roger Lang.

“I’ve won 17 races with three foals from here and the other one I bred is Exotic, who is just starting out and she has run fifth in her two starts,” said Lord. “Nufsed won eight, Verago won three here for me then won another in Hong Kong when trained by Paul O’Sullivan, and now D’Llaro has won six.”