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Shamexpress has been confirmed as one of the challengers to Australia’s sprinting queen Black Caviar in the Group 1 2013 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) at Flemington on February 16.
While trainer Danny O’Brien rates his colt highly, he knows he is no chance of ending the glamour mare’s unbeaten run.
But O’Brien said the Lightning stands as an ideal lead-up to the Group 1 2013 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington March 9.
Black Caviar is nominated for the Newmarket but a big weight allocation is expected to keep her out of the prestigious handicap.
”We are under no illusions that we can beat Black Caviar but I think the Lightning is the best way to prepare for the Newmarket Handicap so that is where we will go,” O’Brien told Racing Victoria.
Shamexpress kicked off his campaign at Moonee Valley on January 25 with a one-length victory in the Chandler Macleod Handicap (1000m).
The three-year-old has always been held in high regard by O’Brien and showed signs there could be bigger things to come in November when he finished third to Nechita in the Coolmore Stud Stakes.
Another who has been all but confirmed as a Lightning starter is multiple Group 1 winner Ortensia who will travel from Scone to Rosehill to trial on Tuesday.
”At this stage we are headed to the Lightning Stakes and all going well in the trial, that is where she will go,” trainer Paul Messara said.
Ortensia has only raced Black Caviar on one occasion when she was beaten 6 1/2 lengths in third position in the 2010 Patinack Farm Classic.
She has reportedly come back well from her overseas campaign that saw her win at Group 1 level in both Dubai and the UK.
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