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A crack line-up of 16 star sprinters make up the recently released 2012 Lightning Stakes nominations, Black Caviar the headline entry for the country’s sole Group 1 1000m sprint and rated a strong chance of backing up to defend her title in the race after securing the CF Orr Stakes win last Saturday.
Peter Moody’s flawless super mare raced away to her 18th consecutive career victory at Caulfield over the weekend, blasting her competition including Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed by an all-too-easy three and a quarter lengths.
It was her first time over 1400m and looked to be little more than a track gallop for the champion with every indication she could make a mess of her rivals over a mile as well.
Moody, however, is leaning towards bringing her back to 1000m for the $750,000 Group 1 Coolmore Lightning Stakes at Flemington this Saturday, which is the opening leg of the Global Sprint Challenge.
Black Caviar is also being aimed at another leg of the Global Sprint Challenge with the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
It was all systems go for Black Caviar this morning with Moody’s racing manager Jeff O’Connor reporting she had pulled up well after Saturday.
“She has pulled up super and will be nominated today (for the Lightning Stakes) with the intention of running on Saturday if all progresses well this week,” O’Connor said.
“We have up until Saturday morning to decide if she runs, but the signs are all very positive at this stage and we are pressing on with the intention of running her.”
Taking her connections on the ride of a lifetime Black Caviar has been well looked after by Moody and co. and if she is accepted for the 2012 Lightning Stakes field it would be her first time contesting two races in the space of just seven days.
“We have never pushed her, we have never done a lot with her,” Moody said.
If successful in defending her Lightning Stakes title, Black Caviar having won the race three and a half lengths ahead of Hay List at start number nine last Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival, she would also equal the Australasian record of 19 consecutive wins jointly held by Gloaming and Desert Gold.
Moody said that he would be taking his stable favourite to Flemington for a track gallop on the day anyway, so lining up for another Group 1 and adding even more depth to Black Caviar’s unparalleled career is very tempting.
“With the ease of that (CF Orr Stakes) win I’m probably going to do more work with her next Saturday morning to have her ready for the Futurity Stakes a week later,” Moody said.
A Lightning Stakes 2012 run and win would also pave the way for Black Caviar to surpass the record with consecutive turf triumph No. 20 on Australian soil in the $500,000 Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Blue Diamond Stakes Day, February 25.
“It’s mind-boggling what she does,” Moody said.
“What she does to good horses is beyond belief, it’s unbelievable.”
Moody has also nominated for Curtana in the Lightning Stakes, the mare last seen finishing four lengths away fourth to her superlative stablemate in the Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) on Emirates Stakes Day.
It is a mouth-watering list of Lightning Stakes 2012 nominees for Saturday the other major stand out being Hay List.
If Black Caviar does come to the races again this weekend, it will be a major blow for the resuming champ Hay List who has had to play second fiddle to the world’s highest-rated mare four times already.
There are also some exciting three-year-olds among the Lightning Stakes entries this autumn including Michael Moroney’s exciting colt African Pulse who won on Melbourne Cup Day in an upset over Karuta Queen before resuming with a first-up victory at Caulfield, and the John O’Shea-trained Foxwedge last seen running a brave second to Sepoy in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Derby Day.
Also nominated are the likes of Jason McLachlan’s consistent Melbourne Cup Day winner Facile Tiger, last year’s The Goodwood winning mare Lone Rock, Tony Gollan’s well-performing Toowoomba galloper Temple Of Boom, former Golden Slipper hero Phelan Ready and Patinack Farm Classic runner-up Buffering.
Whether Black Caviar goes for back-to-back Lightning Stakes will be determined on Wednesday when the 2012 Lightning Stakes field is released and published right here at Races.com.au.
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2012 Lightning Stakes Nominations
Caulfield – 18/02/2012
|1||AFRICAN PULSE||Michael Moroney||89|
|2||BLACK CAVIAR||Peter G Moody||130|
|4||CURTANA||Peter G Moody||101|
|5||FACILE TIGRE||Jason McLachlan||103|
|7||GRAN SASSO||David Brideoake & David Feek||95|
|8||HALLE ROCKS||Mick Price||72|
|9||HAY LIST||John McNair||115|
|10||LONE ROCK||Robert Smerdon||109|
|11||METALLURGICAL||John P Thompson||95|
|12||PHELAN READY||Jason McLachlan||103|
|13||SECRET FLYER||Mark Young||102|
|14||SISTER MADLY||John Sadler||110|
|15||SMACKDOWN (NZ)||Austy Coffey||62|
|16||TEMPLE OF BOOM||Tony Gollan||108|
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