This Melbourne Spring Carnival is shaping up as a beauty for premier Victorian horseman Peter Moody, not only because of the return of his champion Black Caviar, but because the Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup 2011 could also be within his reach thanks to Lights Of Heaven.
While unbeaten sprint star Black Caviar’s spring campaign will culminate with her defending her title in the $1 million Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic at Flemington on Emirates Stake Day, November 5, Moody has a very different plan of attack marked out for his smart filly Lights Of Heaven.
A rising four-year-old daughter of top New Zealand sire Zabeel out of Volksraad mare I’m In Heaven, Lights Of Heaven is being prepared for a grand spring crusade that may include the ‘Big 3’ season showcases.
Moody has indicated that the lightly-raced Lights Of Heaven, who like her famous stablemate Black Caviar is undefeated to date, will be entered for the 2011 Cox Plate, 2011 Caulfield Cup and the premier horse race in Australia, the 2011 Melbourne Cup.
“She’s due to have a trial at Caulfield in the next couple of weeks,” Moody said.
“I’m just not sure where she’ll resume but probably the Memsie.”
The $200,000 Group 2 Memsie Stakes (1400m) will take place at Caulfield on August 27.
“She’ll be nominated for the Cox Plate and Cups,” Moody confirmed.
“I’ve never had a horse that looks ideal for the three races so I’m not sure where she fits in the scheme of things.
“She’s going to be a tremendous mile, 10 furlong horse but whether she goes behind that to a mile and a half and two miles only time will tell.”
Lights Of Heaven earned such an ambitious campaign thanks to the wonderful four-wins-from-four-runs start she kicked off her career with at the start of this year.
Debuting in January at Cranbourne with a blistering seven length win in the De Bortoli Wines Plate (1200m), Lights Of Heaven went on to win at Sandown over 1400m before posting her first black-type victory in the Group 2 Sportingbet Fillies Classic (1600m) at Moonee Valley in March.
At her last appearance, Lights Of Heaven became an elite level winner at just her fourth start when she easily defeated a strong field of fellow three-year-old fillies to win the Group 1 Schweppes Oaks (2008m) at Morphettville on March 26.
After such an impressive start, the highly-spruiked Lights OF Heaven has opened the pre-nomination favourite to win the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 15.
She sits at a quote of $13, shorter even than Kiwi sensation Scarlett Lady ($15) and Australian Guineas – Australian Derby double winner Shamrocker ($13).
Lights Of Heaven may also target the premier weight-for-age showdown in Australia, the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 22 before a possible start in the Melbourne Spring Carnival’s showpiece – the $6 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday November 1.
In futures Cox Plate betting Lights Of Heaven is paying $21, markets lead by dual defending champion So You Think ($7) and Mark Kavanagh’s weight-for-age warhorse Whobegotyou.
Current Melbourne Cup odds for Lights Or Heaven are similar to her Cox Plate price, the promising stayer paying $26 equal with the likes of Michael Moroney’s star import Glass Harmonium and the Lloyd Williams-owned Linton.