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Makin UK Import on Trial for Australian Cup
The Paul Makin-owned Sky Kingdom will be on a trial for races such as the Gr1 Australian Cup when he lines up in the Makers Mark Open Handicap (1600m) at Eagle Farm tomorrow, reports AAP. By Coolmore's deceased former shuttler Montjeu, Sky Kingdom is the first foal of the dual Gr1-winning New Zealand mare We Can Say It Now, a daughter of Makin's globetrotting Australian and European Gr1 winner Starcraft. Formerly trained by William Haggas, the Irish-bred Sky Kingdom has showed plenty of promise winning two of his five starts to date, including the Gr3 Prix du Prince d'Orange (2000m) in France. Now trained on the Gold Coast by Starcraft's old trainer Garry Newham, whom Makin enticed out of retirement, Sky Kingdom had his first Australian start when finishing a creditable ninth (beaten just 2.8 lengths) behind Sir Moments in the Listed Sunshine Coast Cup on 28 January. Makin hopes Sky Kingdom can develop into a Gr1 performer in Australia and one day retire to stud, but Newham says he still has a long way to go. "You have to nominate early for those big races and he is in the Australian Cup. Paul was [also] talking about the Chipping Norton Stakes in Sydney next week," Newham said. "But Sky Kingdom will want to win and win well at Eagle Farm before we talk about taking on Winx, Hartnell and the like."