Sonntag pays back trainer Henry Dwyer

Things did not initially work out as he had hoped, but at Caulfield on Saturday Henry Dwyer finally got the payback he had his eye on  when he bought maiden galloper Sonntag at a mixed horse sale last August.

"We paid $58,000 for him and were hoping for a quick result but he ended up with an infected tendon sheath and he was in a critical condition in the Ballarat vet clinic,’’ Dwyer said.

"A six-or-seven grand bill later, we were thinking 'What have we done here?' But now everyone’s happy."

Dwyer will now aim for the Queensland Derby with Sonntag, a former member of the huge Darley team.

"The plan before today was to head to the Derby if he ran well and I don’t think we’ll change now."

"I think he can sustain the speed he showed today over the last 600 metres for another 400, no doubt. He’s very clean-winded."

Michael Rodd pushed forward on Sonntag in the early stages of the ALH Group Handicap (2000 metres)  before being able to slot in one off the fence just behind the leaders.

After rounding the home turn Sonntag ($8.50) burst clear and drew away to win by 1 ½ lengths from Khutulun ($8), who  worked home nicely.

He had tested the patience of punters after being beaten as an odds-on favourite at his previous  two starts but Lord Of The  Sky repaid those who stuck with him with an easy win in the Listen Learn Speak Plate (1000 metres).

"I was shocked he got beaten on Anzac Day, and the best news I got all day was the stewards'  report that showed he had a throat infection after they scoped him, and that’s why he got  beaten,'' trainer Robbie Laing said.

Lord Of The Sky ($2.70 favourite) began well before Kayla Nisbet decided  to take a sit just behind the leader Fab Fevola, who was setting a strong pace.

After moving up to take the lead as they straightened, he was untroubled to win comfortably.

"These 80 [thousand dollar] open sprints are beautiful because, as a three-year-old, he gets in nicely. It’s all right for me to say he’s very promising but until he earns his stripes he can probably go around in another one," Laing said.

From there, Laing said, he will freshen up Lord Of The  Sky, before setting him for the Bletchingly Stakes at Caulfield on July 14.

After serving a lengthy suspension, Damien Lane returned to the riding ranks in the best way possible, guiding the Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra-trained Hard Stride to his second victory.

Lane missed  24 meetings for causing interference on Hard Stride at Caulfield on Easter Saturday.

The win brought up a double for Ellerton and Zahra, who won earlier i with progressive four-year-old Pin Your Hopes.

Patiently ridden by Katelyn Mallyon, Pin Your Hopes ($4.80) finished strongly to reel in the leader Onpicalo and win nicely, with connections hopeful he can get over more ground next campaign.

"We’ve always liked him but have taken him along patiently and let him get through his grades and placed him right," Zahra said

"He’s bred to get over further so hopefully we’ll see him do that next preparation.’’

David Brideoake ,who trains in partnership with David Feek, also had the honour of being the breeder and owner of Griante ($3.40 favourite), who won her second race in a row at Caulfield in the Chase Hotel Handicap (1600 metres).

While Brideoake would love to win some black type with the three-quarter sister to his WA Derby winner Grand Journey, he is in no rush while she can pick up prize money in easier races.

"They are just outstanding, the rewards in these Super Vobis races, so we’ll stay in them for the moment," Brideoake said.

The story Sonntag pays back trainer Henry Dwyer first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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